Architect’s Toolbox: Diagonals in Design and Rotated Squares

A rotated square and movement along a diagonal are two devices architects and designers use to achieve emphasis and a feeling of greater size. Both tools rely upon a difference between the rooms and spaces on a regular grid of 90 levels — and the sudden introduction of a component askew with that grid.

For instance, creating a room that’s a rotated square makes something special of the room. This is done to capture views or because of some other site feature. Also it is often utilized on the previous room in a progression of chambers, like the exclamation point on an emphatic sentence.

Architects and designers understand that when the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line, the maximum straight line will be the sole on a diagonal. We use a diagonal to boost the perceived size of a room and to maximize a room’s efficiency. Let us see some examples of those ideas in action:

Winn Wittman Architecture

This square is a modern reinterpretation of the bay window, an architectural device that’s been around for centuries.

Mark English Architects, AIA

Here is another rotated square that reinterprets the bay window. The angle determines the window that maximizes the perspective.

RDM Architecture

Such as the exclamation point, this rotated square endings and also highlights the string of chambers before it. This chamber has been made even more special with its tall and stepped windows, ample all-natural light and tall ceiling.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Stairs exist in a special place in a home because they’re the way we move from the public realm of the first floor into the personal realm of the bedrooms. This staircase’s geometry inside a rotated square and also the abundant all-natural light make it even more special, celebrating the action of going down and up.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

Sometimes the rotated square is just a small bit of countertop that creates a delightful place for 2 to sit and enjoy the morning coffee.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

Stacked and rotated one atop the other, the rotated square is sometimes an entire floor level of the house.

Nick Mehl Architecture

Sometimes an entire wing of a house will be rotated to accommodate a site feature like topography…

David Vandervort Architects

… trees …

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

… or a lake.

Mark pinkerton – vi360 photography

With this rotation, we should discuss movement along a diagonal. In this instance, the diagonal created by the straight wall beneath the seat rail generates a longer route to travel, while the stepped wall provides places for the eye to break. The stepped wall produces this hallway a place to enjoy rather than a passing to hurry through.

By using the diagonal, this designer increased the total size of this room and has managed to establish multiple functional areas within the 1 space.

AIA, bud Dietrich

Utilizing the diagonal in this bathroom plays off of this triangular art glass window and raises the measurements available for your tub and dressing table.

Feldman Architecture, Inc..

Here, placing the doorway with an angle, slightly askew from the grid, supplies the excess dimension necessary for a sizable opening and generates a specified entry area.

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