Architecture

Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων – arkhitekton, from ἀρχι- "chief" and τέκτων "builder, carpenter, mason") is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.

"Architecture" can mean:

  • A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.
  • The art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structures.
  • The style and method of design and construction of buildings and other physical structures.
  • The practice of the architect, where architecture means the offering or rendering of professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments.
  • The design activity of the architect, 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.

In relation to buildings, architecture has to do with the planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, environmental, and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of material, technology, light and shadow. Architecture also encompasses the pragmatic aspects of realizing buildings and structures, including scheduling, cost estimating and construction administration. As documentation produced by architects, typically drawings, plans and technical specifications, architecture defines the structure and/or behavior of a building or any other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.

Famous quotes containing the word architecture:

    And when his hours are numbered, and the world
    Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
    Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
    To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
    Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
    The frolic architecture of the snow.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)

    Polarized light showed the secret architecture of bodies; and when the second-sight of the mind is opened, now one color or form or gesture, and now another, has a pungency, as if a more interior ray had been emitted, disclosing its deep holdings in the frame of things.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)