What catches your eye about the architecture of a building?
While thinking about this prompt today I really got to wondering about the different styles of architecture and tried to narrow down what sort of things I notice when I look at a building. It turned out to be a difficult challenge because it occurred to me that I don’t really pay that close attention to architectural details. Part of that stems from the fact that I know squat about architecture.
For the most part I’m like “yep, that sure is a building. Someone designed that once upon a time and then they had it built.” I can recognize the difference between modern architecture and older, classic style buildings of course, but I couldn’t tell you why a thing is classic or modern or anything in between. I couldn’t tell you the fancy details that define a style, or tell you the time period it came from.
I will say, as far as catching my eyes go, they are drawn to old places. Buildings with long histories or ruins with almost none of the original structure left, leaving me to imagine what it might have looked like before it was gone. Old churches are a particular favorite of mine. I got to visit Trinity Church last year and it was just a marvel to behold. I might just have a soft spot for Gothic Revival.
There’s a connection to the past in old places like that. I think that’s why we get so reverent whenever we’re in the presence of old architecture and can’t help but stare in awe. When a place has existed through generations, the permanence of it resonates because we know people who have been gone for centuries have also stood where we stand. We feel it more strongly, as if we could turn around and spot them standing just a few feet behind us.
It doesn’t have to be a church. It could be a whole city block. Every once in a while, walking through downtown in the city where I work, I’ll glance up at the buildings along main street and take a moment to admire them. It’s an old river town in the heart of New England. It has no shortage of history, and the facades of the buildings along the main thoroughfare can certainly attest to that. They’ve had facelifts over the years, but they still hold their old town charm. I look up at the windows and wonder who might have looked down from them once upon a time.
I certainly have a lot to learn about architecture. I could stand to at least have a basic understanding of a handful of architectural styles and the definitions of the elements that make up those styles in order to wield them in my own writing. Descriptions are my weak link, so I need all the help I can get.
What about you? What do you notice in the architecture of buildings? Is it an aesthetic that moves you or is it perhaps the engineering that excites you? Are you, like me, inspired by the age of a building? Write those things down! They could come in handy in a future story!
That does it for this toasty Monday. Tomorrow is supposed to be even warmer, but not quite as hot as Europe. (Seriously, you guys ok over there? Yikes!) Stay cool! Remember to drink plenty of water! I’ll see you same time tomorrow night, k? K. Have a great day!
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