What is Architecture ?
The question -What is Architecture ? is often discussed among students of Architecture endlessly. Students of Architecture spend a no of years trying to get the grips of the meaning of Architecture. In the early years the students of Architecture are confused trying to get a grips of it. In this article I wish to reduce this gap of bewildering students.
Architecture is designing the building space in which we live in. Some define it too broadly as “Architecture is “, others define it as “Architecture is Frozen music “. While there is truth in this definitions, the space we live in and work in , are our Architectural spaces and as such, it is every thing about us- the Environment.
Architectural design is putting and making a composition of the space in a logical meaningful way that makes sense. Thereby there is a indirect correlation ship with how music notes are composed. whereas in building the notes are features and elements borrowed from the past or created anew fulfilling a functional need. You can design spaces that are awful and it is poor taste. Good designs have the following intrinsic attributes:
- Comfortable and Functional
- Durable with time
- Sustainable design with eco biodiversity green ecoconsiderations
- High energy efficient buildings- read-NZEB
- Creates an ambiance of the space that it was meant to be
- A space that creates an emotional experience that leaves traces of memorable experience otherwise it is a shell.
- Reasonable Costed and not flagrant, buildings of exorbitant cost can achieve anything that you want. A insensibly costly building is a sin.
- Beautiful with the visually, makes the hears hears sound that are pleasing, allow light to flow and thereby making the space an memorable experience.
- Defect Free, buildings may look wonderful in the beginning but may result in leakage, cracks and uninhabitable conditions is not good architecture, the right material not the right construction is not used.
If any of those above is not found in your Architectural designs, it may be due to a deliberate omission. As to achieve all may be difficult and some times impossible. For instance the most beautiful building with great interiors has terrible structural design and high unreasonable cost. So good Architectural design -is all about making compromises along the way with cost, comforts, durability and other contending elements.
Architecture is as old as History .When we talk of history of the past civilization, we talk of the architecture of the buildings. And buildings are the only remnants of the past. most record, evidences of the cultural activity is studied by the functional spaces of the buildings.the spaces such as baptismal fonts, altars of worship, temples of ancients, places of sacrifice, inscriptions of words on temple walls. Buildings of the past are mostly temples or buildings of worships. the remnants of homes are generally destroyed except for the remnants of the foundations such as in the Indus Civilizations. The civilizations of the past are :
- Egyptian, Indian, Chinese
- Assyrian Period (before Babylon)*1
- Mesopotamia (Babylon and Before), Ancient Americas (Mayan …etc)
- Persian Period
- Greek Period
- Roman Period*1
- French(Gothic )*1
- Georgian Architecture-The George Whyte’s House *2
- England(Georgian, Tudor, Victorian)
Today buildings are high influenced by one another. For instance:
- the White House was patterned after the grandeur of the Roman Capitol
- The high rise buildings, in our cities are influenced by the new material manufactured during these periods after.
- The Gothic building followed after the Roman, whereas the Gothic (French) improvised from the Roman Arches and post & beam system to heavy arches(flying buttress) which supported higher and magnificent cathedrals.
- Chinese, Japanese Architecture while were developed independently but were not influence by the others neither influenced the world as we know of today. Except the Indian influenced spread to Angkor Watt, Malaysia, and Bali Indonesia, which is now the Bali architecture.
- Post Modern Era
- Green Sustainability and Net Zero Energy Buildings Movement
- Zero Carbon emission designs, Carbon neutrality,ZeroCarbon
Prepared by Architect Perumal Nagapushnam
*1 pg 538-566, volume A, World Book Encyclopedia
*2.pg 13 Houses of the Founding Fathers by Hugh Howard and Roger Straus 111
*3 pg 30 Foster and Partners by te Neues
*4 pg 73 Foster and Partners by te Neues
*5 pg.47 “The Swimming Pool” by Marta Baker