Massing in architecture refers to the general shape and size of a building.

Some architectural styles are expressly defined by their use of massing, while in other architectural styles massing is not salient. For example in house architecture in the United States, Queen Anne architecture involves irregular, asymmetric massing, while contemporary Victorian architecture often/usually refers to fishscale shingling and other decorative details. And the brilliance of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture is in its revolutionary use of heavy massing, distinguishing it greatly from the use of Romanesque-style details (such as rounded doorway arches) in mere Romanesque Revival architecture.

By Dean Hanley

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