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Distribution of visual weight through a work. Typically done with symmetry and asymmetry

Visual Symmetry Visual Radial Symmetry Structural Symmetry Visual Asymmetry 38 Â

Structural symmetry is what most people generally recognize and feel is balanced. Structural symmetry is when something is the same on both sides. This bridge is perfectly symmetrical, which contrasts with the buildings on either side which are not. This is structural symmetry as opposed to visual because the symmetry is within the architecture of the bridge. Bridge over Street New York NY

Visual Symmetry 39 Â

Jefferson’s Greenville NC

Radial symmetry is symmetry that comes out from a center point. This often means a circular shape. This is visible on the build in ornamentation on the façade of this building.

Structural Radial Symmetry


Keiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin Germany

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Structural Asymmetry i s t h e concept t h a t a structure i s unbalanced because of a lack of sameness o n o n e side or the other. I t i s , a g a i n , structural in nature, because is i s something that was built in, and was n o t a n i m a g e painted or sculpted on.

Structural Asymmetry

Visual asymmetry is when a building, room, or piece of art is unbalanced in that it is not perfectly the same on both sides. The room can still, and often will still be balanced, but it will not be formal symmetry.

Visual Asymmetry

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Similarities or differences shown with grouping, repetition, pattern, and continuity

Unity through Line 43 Â

Variety through Age

Unity through Repetition

Variety Through Color

Palace of Versailles, Versailles France

The Palace of Versailles is a very traditional building. This means that it is a perfect example of unity. This is b e c a u s e t h e windows and face of the building show so much repetition. These ornamented windows all have the same p a t t e r n a n d continue around the entire roof of the building.

Unity through repetition

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Unity is a useful tool to m a k e a n architectural feature, or interior feel cohesive. The use of line to create unity is highly effective. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco CA Here on the Golden Gate Bridge we can see this unity being put to use. The bridge looks cohesive, despite the different heights of the struts, because of the repetition of the line. The line also gives the bridge a sense of rhythm it would otherwise be lacking making it less effective visually.

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Unity through Line

While all these buildings are still cohesive and unified, they have a good amount of contrast between them. While there are various reasons for this, the most prominent one is the color differences. The dark brick buildings contrast and show variety with the white faced buildings. London England

Variety through Color

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Variety a n d contrast c a n b e shown in many ways. O n e o f which is through difference s in age Â

Variety through Age Here we can see modern construction of the glass roof, as compared to the t r a d i t i o n a l buildings it is set b e t w e e n . T h e different styles of building as well as t h e o b v i o u s difference is age creates an easily visible variety.

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Pattern, Repetition, or Alternation of elements, in similar forms to create unified movement.





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Herst Castle, San Simon California 49 Â

Flowing rhythm is more often than not shown with curved lines that repeat, creating a feeling of l i q u i d i t y , t h r o u g h t h e repetition. Here the arches over the pool created this feeling of flow.

Flowing Rhythm

Repetitive rhythm is a type of rhythm or often times pattern that displays a sense of unity. The wrought iron hand railing in the picture is a good example to repetitive rhythm, and the sense of beat that it gives to a space.

Alice’s Teacup New York City, NY

Repetitive Rhythm 50 Â

Contrasting rhythm is a principle that is made up of rhythm that has been interrupted. T h e s e buildings show this by h a v i n g r h y t h m , through being the same in shape and continuing in a pattern that can be felt when they are look at. But the c o n t r a s t comes from the different colors of the buildings. This creates a break in the rhythm that makes the viewer slightly uncomfortable. Â Fifth Street, Greenville NC

Contrasting Rhythm 51 Â

Climactic rhythm is a type of rhythm that is building, then finally reaches a high point or a climax.

Judicial Court Building Richmond VA This court house shows this, the windows provide a sense of rhythm, but the climax is building as the windows get smaller as they go up. Finally a climax is reached at the top point of the building. Â

Climactic Rhythm 52 Â

A focal point. The eye is immediately drawn to this area or object.

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Visual emphasis, represented by the picture on the left, is also known as focal point made by additional visual elements. This is differentiated from structural emphasis because the emphasis can

be changed if the visuals are changed. The painting on this wall shows visual emphasis, as it is the only thing that is different on the wall. Â

Visual Emphasis

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Structural emphasis is when the focal point is identified and created by the physical building or elements that were built into the dead load of a building. The focal point of this building is the detailed top. The windows all provide vertical line, leading the eye up the building to the decorated and ornamented roof.

Structural Emphasis 55 Â

The visual or physical weight that an object possess.

Actual Density

Optical Density

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Outdoor Pool, Hearst Castle, San Simone CA

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Actual density is the use of physical mass to take up a space. Unlike v i s u a l density, the mass of an o b j e c t i s actually in existence, and does not only appear to be there. This pavilion is created of marble and is physically dense.

Actual Density

Visual density is when a space or object looks like it has a lot of mass to it, while it actually doesn’t. This is usual done via paintings or reliefs. Here we can see how the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel has been painted to seem dense. The scenes painted here have many people, and the crowding makes the ceiling seem very busy and massive.

Visual Density

Sistine Chapel, 58 Â

A part as related to a whole, the whole in proportion is directly related to human size.

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In proportion

Out of proportion

Objects are either in or out of proportion as c o m p a r e d t o others. When objects are in proportion it is a c o m f o r t a b l e feeling. Visually this light is out of proportion with the other objects in the room. It is larger than what t h e v i e w e r normally sees, and is only balanced out by the dark colors in the desk.

Out of Proportion

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Objects and rooms that are in proportion are comfortable to the viewer and user of the room. These spaces are often found residentially, as the users are living with the spaces on a day to day basis and need to be comfortable within the. Here we see how the furniture is accurate to the size of the room and with one another.

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In Proportion

A part as related to a whole. Any objects can be compared as scale. Human or otherwise.

Human Scale

Symbolic Scale

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The Brandenburg Gate represents symbolic scale because of it’s immense size which is so unlike the humans surrounding it. Symbolic scale means that some object is considerably larger or smaller than what we consider normal scale.

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Symbolic Scale

Human Scale Human scale is when an object is compared to a human and it is similar and relatable to human size. Unlike symbolic scale it is accurate and comfortable for humans to work with and experience. This is visible here because of the chairs in the room which represent human size. We can see how the rest of the room is all at a comfortable height and mass to the human scale.

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Looking Up 2  

Part two, Final project, Rose 1180

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