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Writing and Architecture

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Writing and Architecture

A story is not a story until it is told. The way that this is done gives it depth, meaning, and tone. A house is not a house until it is built. The way that this is done gives it character, purpose, and life. Writing and architecture are very similar in that the idea of the piece is expressed through the choices that are made. It is up to the author or designer to determine how the idea will be interpreted and what method will be used to communicate the idea. Choosing the means that will express the idea is a critical decision that will affect the outcome in dramatic ways.

When designing a house, an architect will establish an architectural idea that will be an underlying factor in the design. After choosing an idea, a means of articulating the idea is determined that will suit the client and relate to the context of its surroundings, whether it be sympathetic or contrastive. The basic form or shape of the house begins to give it meaning and locates the frame of reference. An important factor in building a house is whether the house is built to replicate past periods, such as Victorian, or has a modern design. The actual design of the house, where the walls, doors, and windows will be placed, brings out the architectural idea. In a book dealing with the architecture of houses the author has this to say: "Windows do more than let in light and air. The way they are placed in a wall affects our understanding of the whole house" (Moore, Allen, Lyndon qtd. in Allen 203).

The materials bring another level of understanding to the design. The difference between cedar shingles and modular steel panels is significant when determining the tone of the house.

I shall always remember how as a child I played on the wooden floor. The wide boards were warm and friendly, and in their texture I discovered a rich and enchanting world of veins and knots. I also remember the comfort and security experienced when falling asleep next to the round logs of an old timber wall; a wall which was not just a plain surface but had a plastic presence like everything alive. Thus sight, touch, and even smell were satisfied, which is as it should be when a child meets the world. (Norberg-Shultz qtd.
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