What Is Architecture And How Do You Know When It Is Good

December 13, 2016·by admin·in Architecture

architecture is a symphony of components and materials which are carefully designed into a structure, creating a harmonious habitable space for families, students, office executives, worshippers, shoppers, industrial workers and even those waiting for a bus.

the structure you find yourself in, is either a building or an aesthetically pleasing well designed space which responds to the ever changing needs of people, called architecture.

a building provides shelter from the elements, but architecture responds to the needs of the user and rises to the level of art, like sculpture architecture is a 3 dimensional visual expression of form, material, colour and light.

french architect – le corbusier describes architecture as a magnificent play of masses brought together by light.
the space designed by an architect affects you more than any other art form. you don’t have to look at a painting or attend a concert, but you do have to interact with architecture.
architecture is a combination of functionality and aesthetical appeal.

contemporary architecture

the best way to understand architecture is to look at contemporary structures. contemporary architecture is raw architecture, no frills or ornaments. they are made up of 3 basic elements, glass, steel and concrete, these are cold elements in isolation, to balance the design the architect needs to warm the structure up with warm visual elements, like colour, timber and softer textures.


when does a building become architecture?

  1. is the building functional and does it serve the purpose for which it has been designed?
  2. is the building aesthetically pleasing, balancing cold and warm elements?
  3. is the building too busy? the architect should try not to use more than 3 textures and 3 different shades of colour.
  4. is the building environmentally friendly?
    a. is the building orientated facing north or facing the view? the view should always take preference.
    b. are the power requirements for the building making use of solar power (pv panels), wind power, heat pumps or gas.
    c. is the building well insulated, using cavity walls with polystyrene infill, double glazing windows with an argon gas cavity, has the ceiling got an insulation layer of more than 120mm and has the surface bed been cast on a 120mm thick polystyrene layer.
    d. does the building recycle, the vegetable waste is to be used as compost in the gardens, plastic, tins and paper should be separated and recycled.
  5. rainwater harvesting:- water can be collected in gutters and fed into storage tanks. this water can be used for flushing toilets and irrigate the gardens.
  6. light and shadow, does it animate the facade and the internal spaces.

with enough exposure to architecture, anyone can become an expert critic. the secret is to not experience architecture through magazines, books, lectures or photography but by soaking up the real thing.


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