Tips and Tricks for Elevation Design

Tips and Tricks for Elevation Design

Most of us, often get so much deeply involved in planning, zoning and sorting out circulation (which also, never seems to end), that elevation design doesn’t get enough attention that it actually requires from us Architects, especially Architecture students, who leave elevation design for that very last minute, still making changes at the 11th hour, before their deadline. But, designing an elevation is also one of the most important steps in a design process because it is the first thing that anybody would notice and it would definitely leave an impression, be it good or bad, satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

The elevation speaks volume about a designer’s mind or philosophy in that particular project and most of the time it also drops huge hints of the design concept.

Let’s discuss some of the tips and tricks for designing an aesthetically pleasing elevation.

  1. Harmony with a degree of Unity

Unity brings all the components or design elements together as a whole, instead of parts. This can be achieved through different ways.

  • Repetition

One way to achieve unity is to repeat one design element throughout the elevation forming some sort of a pattern.

  • Continuity

One more way to achieve unity is by literally or visually, continuing a line or pattern, to form a grid. This way, the observer’s eye would lead itself along the elevation and he would read it as one.

  1. Variety within Unity

As contradictory as it sounds, while achieving unity, it is also important to z

This can be achieved in different ways:

  • Unity in geometry and variety in colors

Unity can be achieved by using same geometrical shapes throughout the elevation but then changing the colors to bring in variation.


  • Unity in colors and variety in geometry

Or we can always go the other way round where uniformity is achieved through using a same color and variation is brought by using different shapes of same or different sizes.


  • Applying modifications to the same base unit

Another way is to use the same element and apply modifications, for example, twisting, tilting or stretching it.

  1. Emphasis

Play with emphasis in your elevation to bring observer’s eye to the most important part of your elevation. In design, emphasis can be achieved through a lot of ways. Some of them are:

  • Contrast

The contrast can be created by using different textures, colors, design element or materials on the façade.


  • Focal point

Focal point is another trick to bring attention to a certain something in your design. It also creates a great visual appeal for the observer’s eye.


  • Scale

One can also play with scale to create emphasis in the design. Massive elements and parts are also an eye candy if achieved in an appropriate way, not losing the overall balance in the appearance.

  1. Proportions

Proportions can either make a design or break it. It is without any doubt, one of the most important design properties. Here are some of the most common design proportions that are used by Architects:

  • Golden Ratio

  • Fibonacci Sequence

  • Alberti Proportions, from, “The Ten Books on Architecture by Vitruvius”

  • The Modulor


The ratios and proportions can be applied to the distribution of different elements, dimensions and spacing between them to achieve a good visual composition of the elevation.


Bibliography: (2019). How to Design an Architectural Elevation? Check Out these Tips – [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Jul. 2019]

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