ARCHITECTURE TERMS DECODED
Brush up on your design lingo before getting started on your custom home build.
Circulation: Also termed “flow,” circulation describes how your design will accommodate people moving throughout your home on a daily basis.
Context: Creating a design that fits its surroundings not only in size but in style, proportions, materials, use and so on. A house that may seem out of context to some is typically one that doesn’t fit in with some, or any, of the neighboring buildings or natural environment. So, for example, think about the surrounding landscape when planning your timber home design as well as the look of nearby properties.
Juncture: Loosely, this term refers to how materials are put together in your home plan. How materials intersect influences how the building will age and what maintenance issues will arise. For example, if the juncture between the siding and a window or door isn’t properly detailed, a leak — and subsequent maintenance — may result.
Program: Used frequently by architects, this term refers to your wish list — basically a written (or saved online) description of what you want and what you need and what you’re willing to pay for. This could also refer to a notebook of saved ideas or digital photos, so make sure you share all of this with your design professional.
Scale: How the sizes of architectural elements relate to one another. When an architect says something like, “The scale of that building is all wrong,” it generally means that the building’s size doesn’t fit its surroundings. If a building has a “good scale,” it implies that the pieces are sized to correlate with one another.
Spatial organization: How the rooms (or spaces) in a home or building are arranged to make sense for the way you live.
Structure: A lot of architectural terms have multiple meanings. “Structure” is one. While it can refer to the components (beams, joists, columns, rafters, footings) that hold up a building, it can also refer to the way a space is organized.