Recent IELTS Question in 2018 & Band 9 Model Answer – topic : designing a building

ielts writing test in 2018 and model essays
ielts writing test in 2018 and model essays

While designing a building, the most important factor is the intended use of the building rather than its outward appearance. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Model Answer

Some individuals opine that the most vital aspect when designing a building is its function rather than its outer aesthetics. I somewhat agree with this viewpoint as although a good-looking building enhances the beauty of its surroundings, without meeting its basic function, it would be a waste.

On the one hand, a building with an appealing appearance may be a source of beautification of its locality that may encourage people to visit it as it may serve as an incentive for tourism, leisure, or work. For example, the bathhouses of Brighton are well-known for their bright and colourful designs and promote tourism in the state of Victoria. Similarly, attractive university campuses and office spaces are deemed to be popular study and work destinations among young adults.

However, the function of a building is of pivotal importance when considering its design. A building needs to accommodate the needs of its owners, residents, and patrons. Specifically, one basic necessity of any building is safety; that is, it needs to be sturdy and durable. However, nowadays, there are many fashionable styles of buildings that compromise their stability and safety. For example, in India, an architectural firm gained popularity for its one-of-a-kind designs and, a few years later, the designs were claimed as unsafe when many of the buildings collapsed during a minor earthquake. As a result, several resources were wasted, and many lives were endangered in light of the importance given to the outward appearance of the buildings over their basic functionality.

In conclusion, I agree to some extent that the purpose of a building is of utmost importance instead of the external aspects when designing it, as without serving the primary functions, a building would be a waste of essential resources and even risky.


292 words

Note: The words in green: useful collocations, phrases, & grammar | The words in red: good vocabulary 

Opine (v) to state your opinion

Aesthetics (n) the beautiful qualities of something

Appealing (a) attractive & interesting

Beautification (n) the process of making visual improvements to a person, place, or thing.

Locality (n) particular area or district

Incentive (n) Inducement or supplemental reward that serves as a motivational device for a desired action or behaviour.

Deem someone/something to be something(v) to consider that someone or something has a particular quality

Pivotal (adj.) extremely important and affecting how something develops

Accommodate (v) to consider and include something when you are deciding what to do

Patron (n) someone who uses a particular restaurant, hotel, or other business

Sturdy (a) strong & not easily affected/damaged by what happens

Durable (a) able to stay in good condition for a long time and after being used a lot

compromise (v) settle a dispute by mutual concession

in light of (phrase) because of a particular fact

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Written By

Nafia Zuhana is an experienced content writer and IELTS Trainer. Currently, she is guiding students who are appearing for IELTS General and Academic exams through With an 8.5 score herself, she trains and provides test takers with strategies, tips, and nuances on how to crack the IELTS Exam. She holds a degree in Master of Arts – Creative Writing, Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has worked with The Hindu for over a year as an English language trainer.


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