Scale “Know-How”

Last September I sent an e-Bits about how you experience a building. As Dan Gagen, our senior designer at PDMi, reminds me often when he says “You don’t always know why you like the design, but “Scale” is the determining factor if you do or don’t”. The scale of a building is such an important topic that I wanted to visit it again, but this time with the visual help of the 3D sketch-up model of a new office addition we recently designed in Columbia City. This design integrated the three Scales required to experience a well-designed building.



Street Scale: This is where you are driving down the road at 55 MPH and you see the building. At that point you are experiencing the Shapes / Colors / Proportions of the building.



Parking Lot Scale: This is where you are still in your car and are entering the parking lot. At that point you are experiencing the Textures / Scale of the building elements / Landscaping & Signage of the building.



People Scale: This is where you are walking up to the building. At this point you are experiencing the Details of the building elements / Entry Statement / Warmth of the space.


If all three are designed well and fitted together correctly you will love the building, but may never know why, and that is an architect’s goal. A sign of a great building is one that you like being in, but does not over power you. If you are driving through Columbia City swing by Impact CNC at 1380 S. Williams Dr. and experience for yourself the Street, Parking Lot and People Scale of this building.

We would love the opportunity of designing your next building so that you, and the many that will come through its doors, can enjoy it. I look forward to your call…

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