Purpose of Architectural Diagrams

Architectural diagrams can be said to have different functions depending on when and how they are used. In the first stages of the design process, they are used to thinking easily and helping designers to solve problems.

For later steps of the design progress, they can be used to clarify what is required and as a source of reference for different parties. Architectural diagrams are used to communicate ideas later on, making it easy for the architect to simplify and stratify problems at first. Throughout and after the design process, architectural diagrams are used to explain ideas to colleagues, clients, and members of the public.

Decide Diagram Types

There are many types of architectural diagrams that serve different purposes. You can create structural, contextual, circulation or programmatic diagrams depending on why you want to create a diagram and to whom you will present it. At the beginning of the diagram design process you will design, you can create complex diagrams with more than one technique to solve the context and concept. However, you should organize the layers and systems in a clear and professional way for diagrams to support your design as part of your presentation.


The content of your diagram is one of the most important issues after deciding which type of diagram it is. Presenting this content as visual and text is an important step of our design. Depending on the diagram type, you can display the content in a simple and understandable architectural language. There is no need to keep the texts long or overlap all elements of the diagram. You can specify keywords related to the data that you want to convey, and complete them with some shapes, lines or drawings.

Design Decision

When designing your diagram, make sure it is not independent of the project it represents and the entire presentation. Colors, textures, lines and all the visual elements you will use, even fonts should be compatible with your project. Diagrams should be designed in your style, as they most simply describe context, program, movement, or physical elements. use the colors that dominate your project or presentation language, if it is related to your concept, do not hesitate to work with one color.

In fact, diagram design does not have certain rules, it changes according to the tastes of the architect or designer. Also, keeping diagrams simple and expressing ideas simply does not mean avoiding multiple diagrams. If you have more than one diagram that shows the same part of the building, or a similar process, it’s also fine to merge them into one. The key is to be consistent in design.

Avoid Mistakes

The mistakes you should avoid in diagram design are usually related to choosing wrong methods that you cannot show your ideas to the others. At the beginning of these methods, there is no keyword or text describing the content in the diagram. In order for the diagram to be readable, you need to create a legend about what colors and shapes represent at least. If you are not consistent when going over these shapes and lines, it will create a bad impression. In addition, you should avoid complex designs that contain all kinds of diagrams and layers that are far from simple.

When we search on the diagrams of famous architecture offices, we see how incredibly extra-ordinary and large-scale projects keep the mass or program diagrams are simple. This shows how powerful their design language is and how professional they are at communicating ideas.

BIG Architects


Zaha Hadid Architects

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