Open Forum


, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 103-111

First online:

An architectural history of metaphors

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


This paper presents a review and an historical perspective on the architectural metaphor. It identifies common characteristics and peculiarities—as they apply to given historical periods—and analyses the similarities and divergences. The review provides a vocabulary, which will facilitate an appreciation of existing and new metaphors.


Metaphor Architecture Art Traditional or classical art Ancient prehistoric Modern and contemporary architecture