Form and shape

Architecture is full of shapes and forms. Some shapes are flat (we call these ‘two dimensional’ or 2-D). And some shapes have depth (we call these three dimensional’ or 3-D). The 3-D shape of a building is called the form of the building.

Some shapes and forms are geometric. This means they are made up of straight or circular lines. Other shapes can be organic. This means that they look like shapes from nature – such as a banana or a tree.

Although there are many different shapes that can be used to make architecture, the geometric shapes below are pretty popular.

What 3-D shapes (forms) would you make if you piled up these 2-D shapes? See if you can guess and then move your mouse over the shape to find out!

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  • Circles of the same size?

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  • Circles of different sizes, starting with the largest and ending with the smallest?
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  • Squares of the same size?

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  • Squares of different sizes, starting with the largest and ending with the smallest?

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  • Triangles of the same size?