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What Are The Keys to Getting Architecture Right

30 December 2019

When embarking on an architecture project, be it here in Glasgow or anywhere around the world, there are some simple principles which must be adhered to in order to get the project right. We know that the 6 fundamental principles of design are balance, proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast and space, but beyond this there are some key considerations which must be made during the design process. No matter whether building a Mykonos hotel, a New York art gallery or a government building in Addis Ababa, the rules are the same in terms of how to approach this project.

Walt Disney Concert Hall - what are the keys to getting architecture right

What Are The Keys to Getting Architecture Right Guide


One of the real keys to getting a new project right is to consider the overall feeling and characteristics of the space where your design is going to go. Taking that Mykonos hotel as an example, this is an island famed for its whitewashed and traditional looking buildings, it would be folly therefore to place a large, futuristic structure, which is going to stick out like a sore thumb amongst the beautiful cityscape. There is nothing wrong with introducing new ideas and design quirks, but they must fall in line with the overall feel and personality of the location that you are building in.


Behind the unique designs, the architectural details and the impressive nature of a structure, it has to be functional and fit for purpose. If you are constructing an art gallery in New York for example, then outside it should be impressive of the eye and inside it should offer the space to house artworks and exhibitions, as well as the means for people to easily get around the museum. A common mistake that many make is to only focus on the aesthetics of the building, rather than looking deeper into what the building is going to be used for and what is required to ensure that it offers maximum functionality.


When we discuss reputation as one of the fundamental principles of architecture this refers to the structural integrity and symmetry of the building. Beyond this however it is also essential that the style of the building also represents continuity. There is nothing wrong with being creative and mixing styles on the design of a building, but once the theme is decided upon it must be carried throughout the building. This not only ensures best results but will help the architect to achieve the look that they are aiming for.


One of the limiting factors for many architects is cost, something which they would no doubt prefer to forget about entirely and focus on a great design, but something which is impossible to get away from. Cost does drive almost every decision which is made in the construction of buildings, but this should represent a challenge to the architect to still achieve the look they want, using materials or construction methods which are going to lower the price. Cost shouldn’t comprise style, it is up to the designer to fit in with the budget they have been given.

Essential considerations no matter what the project happens to be.

Comments on the What Are The Keys to Getting Architecture Right advice article welcome

Major Scottish Buildings

Key Buildings in Scotland Articles – architectural selection below:

Kelvin Hall television and film studio, West End
Design: Reiach and Hall Architects
Kelvin Hall television and film studio vision

Central Quay, Anderston
Design: 3DReid, Graeme Nicholls Architects and re-form landscape architecture
Central Quay Glasgow, Anderston

Glasgow School of Art, 167 Renfrew Street
Glasgow School of Art

Burrell Museum

Historic Glasgow : best Glasgow architecture of the past

Comments / photos for the What Are The Keys to Getting Architecture Right page welcome