Architectural Characters of a Building





The Character and Style of a building is based on its functional aspects, associated aspects and personal aspects….

Character of a building is classified into three main categories:

  1. Functional Character
  2. Associated Character
  3. Personal Character
Timber structure

Timber structure

In this article, we are going to discuss in detail all the three basic characters of a building mentioned above with examples…

Functional Character of a Building

  • Every building has specific functions and is made for specific broad purpose. The internal planning is in co-ordination with the exterior facade that tells us the purpose of the building.
  • The external appearance plays an important role in determining the purpose and the function of the structure.

For example:

  • Designing skylights instead of windows can indicate a museum.
  • Designing a long wall having numerous windows in a particular order can also indicate a museum.
  • Designing tall and wide windows suggest a library.
  • Designing a symmetrical entrance to a central block having a wide entrance to express balance  and rhythm indicates public buildings.

Associated Character of a Building

  • The character of some buildings is expressed through elements associated with certain influences. Such influences often go thousands of years back in history and culture.
  • Cultural aspects play an important role in determining the Associated Character of a particular structure….
  • We recognize a building by its features, which we associate with a particular structural style. A spire on a tower by the side of a spacious building indicates a church. A gopuram depicts a Hindu Temple whereas a crescent and a white dome is the symbol of a mosque.

Personal Character of a Building

Characters in architecture is comparable with the attributes of an individual. If a building is designed in the proper spirit, personal characteristics such as grace, dignity and vitality can be expressed as an integral part of the structure.

Studying these Characters will help us understand the anatomy of the Design of the Building…



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  1. #1 by Rajnish on June 7, 2010 - 11:42 am

    Hey, Thanks for sharing this. I would like to tell you, This is extremely wonderful and I really liked it.
    I always like to read on these topics and one of the best thing is that,
    I am looking for this from a long time. Thank you for this again.

    Rajnish Kumar

  2. #2 by Amiel Sac on April 20, 2011 - 6:35 am

    Of the three types, i think its the associated character that just comes most naturally. Builders really don’t have to think that hard to incorporate elemets of their culture to what they’re building, right?

  3. #3 by azenith on May 5, 2011 - 8:00 pm

    I am not aware that buildings could have characters. It is good that by observing the structures of the building, one could know what kind of public building it is. The timber structure in the picture reminds me of European buildings.

  4. #4 by Dave on May 28, 2011 - 11:20 pm

    I find this topic fascinating. My brother studied architecture (since then winning awards for some of his designs) and has opened my eyes to the kind of things outlined in this article.

  5. #5 by Charles on August 14, 2011 - 3:15 am

    Architecture is one of the “arts” that most people take for granted. I mean, how many people really take the time to study a building (even the workplace they spend 8+ hours at every day) and appreciate the functional aspects of a structure and how they meld with an artistic flair from the architect. Nice to see someone writing about the nuances of architecture.

  6. #6 by Steve on August 30, 2011 - 11:23 pm

    This is a very interesting post. I’m a Chicago personal injury lawyer so all I know about architecture is related to the skyscrapers I walk past every day. Thank you for educating me.

    • #7 by BenzuJK on August 31, 2011 - 4:13 am

      Hello Steve,
      Thank you so much for the appreciation. I am glad my articles were helpful. Do keep visiting.

      Cheers 🙂

  7. #8 by Steve on September 2, 2011 - 7:23 pm

    You’re welcome! I will definitely be back.

  8. #9 by Kim Jones on October 25, 2011 - 11:34 pm

    I think that there should be a lot more focus on the functional character of a building. This is what really matters.

  9. #10 by Afay ED'win on November 10, 2011 - 3:38 pm

    great work… very helpful info u have here

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