How To Describe Beautiful Architecture

An Overview

Beautiful architecture can be found all around the world – from the iconic pyramids of Giza to the Great Wall of China – but truly describing it can be a difficult task. To truly capture the beauty of a building or monument, an artist or writer needs to hone in on its unique features, historic importance and clever construction. This article will explain how to approach describing beautiful architecture, giving examples of what should be taken into consideration when writing about such structures.

History and Cultural Significance

The history and cultural significance of a beautiful building or structure should be detailed in the description. Old churches, cathedrals and other places of worship often have long and fascinating stories that make them distinct from other buildings and monuments. Knowing the date the structure was built, its purpose and the religions it has been used for is key when conveying its importance. Describing how a building has survived for centuries and how it still stands despite various threats can also add an extra layer of awe when conveying the overall beauty of a structure.


It can be easy to overlook the aesthetics when describing beautiful architecture, but they are nonetheless an important part of the equation. Details such as the craftmanship that went into the construction, the intricate carvings, the sculptures, the ornately detailed stone work and the grand scale can all come together to make a breathtaking building. Our modern society often overlooks and disregards the beauty of a building purely because of its age or location, but it is important to remember the time, effort and skill that went into the design to truly appreciate its immensity.


Symbolism and historical context are also key when describing beautiful architecture. Ancient cities often had a deep meaning and specific symbols tied to them. Identifying each of those symbols and describing their place in the building’s design and meaning can be an interesting way to bring the reader into the scene. A better understanding of the symbolism can also give an insight into the beliefs held by the builders and people of the time, giving an even richer description of the overall beauty of a structure.


Nature often plays a part in the construction of beautiful structures. An artist or writer should take into consideration the surrounding environment when describing a building or monument. Natural elements such as sunlight, water and the wildlife that inhabit the area can be used to adorn the written composition, adding more to the reader’s experience of the building. Taking into account the architect’s decision to use natural elements to bring the building to life should always be something to consider.

Meaningful Connections

Another element to consider when describing beautiful architecture are the meaningful connections a building has with its past or people. Whether it be the name of a monarch or a legend, recognising the personal meaning that a place of construction has for people can provide a deeper level of description for the beauty it embodies. For example, a temple in India dedicated to a significant person or deity can inform us on how it holds personal importance for the locals in the area and how it ties into lesser known stories.


Uniqueness is often what separates beautiful architecture from the rest. Describing why a certain building stands out from the crowd can be tricky, but pointing out the features that make it special can help to solidify an interesting and descriptive piece. It could be something special like a rare dome or a unique build, but highlighting the unique elements of a building is an integral part of understanding its true beauty.

Advanced Critique

When describing beautiful architecture, a critique of the structure is essential. Lengthy aesthetical critiques are often not necessary, but breaking down the building and assessing its weaknesses and its strengths can contribute further to the piece. This could include the materials used, the quality of the construction, the history of the site and how the building ties into its surrounding environment.


Taking into consideration the above points can give a detailed judgement of a building’s beauty. From the aesthetics to the cultural significance and its unique features, describing beautiful architecture is an art form in it of itself. By combining in-depth writing and relevant inquiry, an artist or writer should be able to form a compelling argument on why a structure is beautiful and why it stands out from the rest.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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