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Apr. 1, 2020 | Wednesday
Editorials and Opinions
Architext: Unifying the composition
Unity with rhythm and pattern. (Supplied)

While there are many design principles and elements in the tool-box of the talented designer, there is only one more combo that I wish to address in this series: rhythm and pattern.

Carefully applied in concert with the other principles we have addressed, rhythm and pattern speak to the natural human attraction for order thereby conveying a sense of comfort and contentment.

These two principles work “hand-in-glove.”

Rhythm can be defined as the regular (or rhythmic) occurrence of similar and/or identical elements to produce a sense of predictability, movement and sequence across the composition. Although rhythm can be achieved with various forms, the two most common are structure (such as a series of columns) and pattern.

Patterns are surface elements, generally decorative, which visually provide both variety and unity. Here’s the key, items set in cadence create a sense of rhythm and ‘rhythm repeated’ forms a pattern.

The Gothic farmhouse shown boasts multiple examples of applied rhythm and pattern of elements (brackets, pillars, etc.) which contribute to a unified composition that extends past the facade to successfully marry the original front portion of the house and the rear addition.

That said, like other key principles, rhythm and pattern must be used carefully — too much results in a sense of chaos, while too little loses the effect.

So, at the end of the day, the architect will use the key principles in concert, always considering the composition as they employ them.

The result will be a ‘good’ design; a home which evokes a sense of order, balance, hierarchy, scale, proportion, rhythm and pattern; a unified composition that integrates with its site, and simply feels “right” while delivering intuitive liveability.