The Virtues of Symmetry and How They Relate to Architecture

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symmetry and architecture

There are thousands of building structures out there with varying levels and styles. Some have safe and practical designs, but they probably would blend in with the others and could escape your attention. Then there are those that have daring and striking designs. They are the ones that stand out and make you stop to take a gander. If you were to hire an architectural firm to design your own building, which design path would you take? No matter what you choose, there is one characteristic that can be applied to both, and that is symmetry. It has virtues that can be directly applied to a structure’s overall architecture.


The premise of the symmetrical design is simple. You have to identical halves that are stuck together, which you can say also shows equality. Each half has the exact measurements of the other. This also creates a balance that can easily be translated into real-life construction. When you plan to build something, the engineering part of it would be dealing with the weight capacity. It is easier to calculate this when you have symmetry, as this will let you achieve equilibrium or the perfect balance.


Having two identical halves makes designing things more simple. If you are struggling with where to start, you can first make a straight line right smack in the middle of your sheet just to get you going. Then you basically branch out from there. You only need to draw one half of the structure, and once you are done you are practically finished with the whole design. Just flip the image over, and you have the other half done. This principle also extends to how you lay out the floor plan, though it is also completely up to you if you want to mix it up when it comes to designing the interiors.

Humans are made of symmetrical proportions—you have identical limbs and other body parts, even if it is just on the outside. This may play a part in how you perceive things. You may feel that something is off when you view something that is asymmetrical. How many times have you struggled to align a painting or mirror that you wanted to hang on the wall? You probably used a point of reference that has a center to measure things out. Having that makes things convenient and simple, as having something designed asymmetrically might have multiple points you have to look at for you to make a coherent theme or design.


interior design and symmetry concept

The main idea of gaining symmetry is having mirror images of each side. But if you sit back and think about it, this also introduces the concept of duality. Each side is its own entity. They may have the same measurements and proportions, but they are facing opposite each other. Design-wise, you can achieve this to greater effect by using contrasting colors. For example, you can have two vases, one black and the other white, sit at opposite sides of a shelf. This just shows that though you are seeing a form that is fairly simple to judge at first glance since you have a left and right side, the contrast means there is more to it than that which adds depth to the character.

The virtues of symmetry can bring about an architectural marvel if done right, of course. It can influence the overall design of a house or building greatly, whether if it is for logical or aesthetic purposes. When you see a great example of it, you will realize there is more to it than having two halves slapped together.


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