It would not be an incorrect thing to say that we are surrounded by architecture. Architecture is involved in each activity that we do in our daily lives starting from waking up in our bed to sitting down at the desk to work in offices.
While architecture literally means design of any building structure, it also encompasses the design of any space whether closed or open thereby giving out multiple branches to this field of study or profession.
What is architecture?
In simple terms, architecture can be defined as the designing and planning of buildings or structures of any kind. It also includes the physical implementation of building design in the form of constructing a building as well. The architecture includes not only the design and construction of standalone building structures but also the design and development of urban spaces along with that of the landscape areas.
Another important factor that architecture impacts to a major extent are the conservation as well as restoration of buildings that are old and are of historical importance. Therefore, architecture plays a great role in depicting the history of any culture or nation in the most original way possible.
It might be worth remembering that conservation architects are one of the key individuals in preserving the history and hence the culture of any region or nation.
From closure to the enclosure
The first step towards understanding architecture is to understand the difference between closure and enclosure. The closure is the definite demarcation of any area to form a specified structural compartment. Enclosure on the other hand does not involve any kind of definite boundary; rather it provides a sense of it thereby giving the user a perception of space without actually creating a defined one.
While boundaries can be done by anyone remotely involved in building construction, creating an enclosure needs years of rigorous training and practice in building design, which can be achieved by architects by the virtue of their education as well as profession.
Evolution of architecture
The evolution of architecture is not a linear phenomenon. This is because different regions of the world had different materials and methods of construction, which gave birth to various forms and styles of architecture.
However, the one thing that is almost common in the history of architecture is that the development of architecture always started from vernacular architecture thereby paving the way for further developments.
In his book, A History of Architecture, Sir Bannister Fletcher, cited various forms of structures like monoliths, dolmens, cromlechs, tumuli, etc. as primary examples of prehistoric architecture. The lists of these pre-historic structures are mainly derived from various areas in the UK and the Euro region. The further eras in the history of architecture do not deviate much from the geographical area in the book.
While the book essentially cites the various timelines of architectural history only based on European formats like the Classical Greek and Roman styles, or the medieval style, or the Renaissance one, it also sheds some light on the Hindu and the Indo-Islamic style as well along with those of the Asian and Latin American architecture.
Linearity in architecture design evolution came only after the industrial revolution when the concepts of ‘Less is more’ were born during the wave of modernism and further into the post-modern style when world-renowned architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Phillip Johnson, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Loius Kahn, and many others presented the world with their wonderful designs and creations.
The interplay of urban spaces in architecture
With every passing day, architecture is becoming a more and more responsible profession. Earlier the profession did not involve much consideration about the immediate surroundings. It was left at the discretion of the architect to understand how their designed buildings interact with their immediate urban surroundings.
As more and more architects imbibed this concept, the consideration of urban fabric into ones’ design has become a necessity now.
One of the prime examples of inducing the urban space into a design is the Pompidou Centre, where half of the plot has been left free in the densely populated Beaubourg area in Paris. The open space in front of the building creates a gathering space for the locals as well as the tourists thereby giving the space a pleasant twist in terms of urban design and planning.
In recent times, hiring an architect is not much of a challenge, because one can easily gather authentic information right from the internet. For example, architects at cronkduch.com take special care of the client’s needs without compromising the external surroundings and environment.
While designing and constructing buildings might be a great achievement for architects, special care is also needed for the impacts that the building would have on the environment. In such situations, sustainable architecture comes into play.
Sustainable architecture means that the process of building design and the functional building structure would harm the environment as little as possible. In other words, the building would leave the minimum amount of carbon footprint for the environment.
The best way to design sustainable buildings is to use as many locally sourced materials as possible. For example, in India, mud or thatched houses can be aptly termed sustainable buildings. It is because the mud is produced locally and does not need any transportation thereby causing much reduction in noise and air pollution caused by the vehicle to transport.
Moreover, mud acts as a good insulator for the building thus reducing the load for artificial cooling or heating during hot and cold seasons respectively.
Branches in Architecture
Architecture is a blanket term used to define any kind of design associated with the planning and construction of buildings. It has various areas where many individuals specialize at like:
- Town planning and Urban Design
- Landscape Architecture
- Interior design
- Restoration and conservation architecture
- Industrial and product design
There are furthermore bifurcations to the above fields, hence making this field quite interesting to deal with.