Monday, June 21, 2010


An opening system of a building offers many opportunities for the use of declarative elements to present the identity of the occupant and the nature of occupancy. The identification and declarative elements are very essential for personalization of the building.
Identification and declarative elements state the owner, the nature of ownership, and conditions for visitations. These are done by direct expressions as well as very subtle means. Often these are placed due to the social conditioning, without knowing their  purpose or significance.

Openings are smaller apertures then the surrounding walls and so are the visual and functional focus of a space. To support these patterns that are axially symmetrical, incorporating a mid accentuation (rise in a circular segment), pointers, triangulation, vertically elongated shapes, formations of upright lines are used here. These elements as topping treatments also accentuate the height scale. Other openings like windows and gaps also carry similar elements to create a balance of similarity.

Identification elements differentiate a building within a group or associate the building to a category. Identical doors and windows conjoin several, even differently styled buildings into a cohesive entity, a colony. Similarly in a mass housing colony, people treat their doors, windows, or curtains, extravagantly different from their neighbours.
The identification and declarative elements announce the nature of opening like, entry, exit, restricted access. These elements on the outer face of a building project a message for the passerby and visitors, and the same occasionally placed on the interior side, reinforce it for the departing visitor.

Identification and declarative elements mark the identity and status of the owner,  nature and antiquity of the ownership. The occupier’s name, caste, educational qualifications, native place and titles are marked over the door. The name of the building, its date of commencement or occupation is the common mention. Antiquity of the building is associated with the main entrance by marking of important events that have taken place in the building.

The entrance door is not just the factual place of arrival but is a metaphoric point of entrance for everything, good or evil, friend or enemy, known or unknown. A visitor, and everything else, is expected to arrive at the main door, in spite of many other convenient points. In some way it is a point of fear, doubt and danger as much as it is of hope, fulfilment and safety. Means of physical and spiritual defence are placed here even though there may be more vulnerable locations in a building.

The visitor’s announcement and identification systems are placed near the formal entrance, such as: bells, knockers, buzzers, talking pipes, whistles, sirens, rattlers, vibrators, horns, intercoms, video recognition, surveillance systems.

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