Architecture ~ In Latin "architectura", from the Greek word "ἀρχιτέκτων" – arkhitekton, from ἀρχι ~ "chief" and τέκτων ~ "builder, carpenter, mason"

"Architecture" can mean:
  • The art and science of design and erecting buildings and other physical structures.
  • A general term to describe buildings and other infrastructures.
  • A style and method of design and construction of buildings and other physical structures.
  • The practice of an architect, where architecture means to offer or render professional services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use.
  • Design activity, from the macro-level (urban design, landscape architecture) to the micro-level (construction details and furniture).
  • The term "architecture" has been adopted to describe the activity of designing any kind of system, and is commonly used in describing information technology.
The earliest surviving written work on the subject of architecture is De architectura, by the Roman architect Vitruvius in the early 1st century CE.According to Vitruvius, a good building should satisfy the three principles of firmitas, utilitas, venustas,which translate roughly as –
  • Durability – it should stand up robustly and remain in good condition.
  • Utility – it should be useful and function well for the people using it
  • Beauty – it should delight people and raise their spirits.
Origins and vernacular architecture
Ancient architecture~Civilizations such as that of Egypt and Mesopotamia
The Pyramids at Giza
Asian architecture~Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh architecture.In many Asian countries a pantheistic religion led to architectural forms that were designed specifically to enhance the natural landscape.
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto, Japan
Islamic architecture~Began in the 7th century CE,ancient Middle East and Byzantium developing features to suit the religious
The Taj Mahal (1632–1653), in India
The medieval builder~In Europe, in both the Classical and Medieval periods.During the Medieval period guilds were formed by craftsmen to organize their trade and written contracts have survived.The role of architect was usually one with that of master mason, or Magister lathomorum as they are sometimes described in contemporary documents.
Notre Dame de Paris, France
Renaissance and the architect~With the Renaissance and its emphasis on the individual and humanity rather than religion.Buildings were ascribed to specific architects – Brunelleschi, Alberti, Michelangelo, Palladio – and the cult of the individual had begun.
La Rotonda (1567), Italy by Palladio
Early modern and the industrial age~With the emerging knowledge in scientific fields and the rise of new materials and technology, architecture and engineering began to separate.Formal architectural training in the 19th century, for example at Ecole des Beaux Arts in France, gave much emphasis to the production of beautiful drawings and little to context and feasibility.Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution laid open the door for mass production and consumption.Vernacular architecture became increasingly ornamental. House builders could use current architectural design in their work by combining features found in pattern books and architectural journals.
Paris Opera by Charles Garnier (1875), France
Modernism and reaction of architecture~The dissatisfaction with such a general situation at the turn of the twentieth century gave rise to many new lines of thought that served as precursors to Modern Architecture. The Modernists wanted buildings that were beautiful not in overwelming decoration but beautiful in simplicity Notable among these is the Deutscher Werkbund, formed in 1907 to produce better quality machine made objects. The rise of the profession of industrial design is usually placed here.Bauhaus school, founded in Weimar, Germany in 1919, redefined the architectural bounds prior set throughout history, viewing the creation of a building as the ultimate synthesis—the apex—of art, craft, and technology. When Modern architecture was first practiced, it was an avant-garde movement with moral, philosophical, and aesthetic underpinnings.Architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright developed Organic architecture in which the form was defined by its environment and purpose.Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson and Marcel Breuer worked to create beauty based on the inherent qualities of building materials and modern construction techniques.By mid-century, Modernism had morphed into the International Style, an aesthetic epitomized in many ways by the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center.Postmodernism developed as a reaction against its austerity.
Fallingwater, Organic architecture
by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Crystal Cathedral, California
by Philip Johnson (1980)

Architecture today~Part of the architectural profession, and also some non-architects, responded to Modernism and Postmodernism.Starting in the 1980s and into the new millennium, the field of architecture saw the rise of specializations for each project type, technological expertise or project delivery methods.There has been an increased separation of the 'design' architect from the 'project' architect.Moving the issues of environmental sustainability into the mainstream is a significant development in the architecture profession.Sustainability in architecture was pioneered in the 1960s by architects such as Buckminster Fuller, Frank Lloyd Wright, Sim Van der Ryn, in the 1970s Ian McHarg in the US and Brenda and Robert Vale in the UK and New Zealand.Sustainable practices that were at the core of vernacular architecture increasingly provide inspiration for environmentally and socially sustainable contemporary techniques.The U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system has been instrumental.An example of an architecturally innovative green building is the Dynamic Tower which will be powered by wind turbines and solar panels.
L'Historial de la Vendée,
in western France
(Green roof planted with native species)
Gare do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal
by Santiago Calatrava


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