The term “environment” may indicate a lot of various things. In architectural design, numerous contributing variables can assist a building in fitting more efficiently on a site, being more sensitive to its surroundings and giving design durability. When looking at the design process, we questioned architects Sarah Braun and Stuart Archer on how they believed the various features of the larger surroundings affected their design selections.

How is architecture influenced by the environment? - Sheet1
Natue in the build space_©

Architecture and environment

Architecture is heavily influenced by the environment in which it is built. The climate, natural landscape, and available building materials are just a few factors that can influence the design of a building. For example, buildings may be designed to stay cool in a hot and dry climate by incorporating features such as large overhangs or courtyards to shade windows and walls from the sun. In a cold climate, buildings may be designed to retain heat by using thick insulation and orienting windows to take advantage of the sun’s warmth. The natural landscape can also influence the design of a building. For example, a building in a mountainous region may blend in with the surrounding landscape, while a building on the coast may take advantage of the ocean views.

How is architecture influenced by the environment? - Sheet2
Climate,natural landscape and build environment_©

There’s no question that the environment can profoundly impact architecture. Look at ancient ruins and see how the surrounding landscape has shaped the building. 

More recently, architects have continued to be influenced by their surroundings. Frank Lloyd Wright, for example, was known for his organic architecture, which was heavily influenced by nature. His buildings were designed to blend in with their surroundings and use natural materials whenever possible. 

More recently, architects like Renzo Piano have also been inspired by the natural world. His buildings often feature large windows that allow natural light to pour in, and he often uses glass and metal to create a sense of transparency and openness. 

How is architecture influenced by the environment? - Sheet3
Architect Renzo Piano_©

Ultimately, it’s clear that the environment can play a major role in shaping architecture. So if you’re ever feeling inspired by your surroundings, don’t be afraid to let your creativity flow!

There are many different ways in which the environment can influence architecture. For example, the natural landscape and climate of a particular location can influence the design of a building, such as the use of materials and building techniques that are well-suited to the local environment. Additionally, the functional requirements of a building, such as the need for natural light or ventilation, can also influence its design. Additionally, environmental factors such as air and water pollution, wildlife habitat, and the availability of natural resources can all impact the design of a building and its surrounding landscape. 

How is architecture influenced by the environment? - Sheet4
Example of sustainable architecture_©

Overall, the relationship between architecture and the environment is complex and multifaceted, and architects must consider a wide range of factors when designing buildings and other structures.

One example of architecture influenced by the environment is sustainable architecture, which incorporates elements of the surrounding environment into the design and construction of buildings. This approach seeks to minimise the impact of the built environment on the natural environment, using materials and technologies that are sustainable, renewable, and energy-efficient. Examples of sustainable architecture include green roofs, rainwater harvesting systems, solar panels, and geothermal heating and cooling systems. These features allow buildings to function more efficiently, reduce their environmental footprint, and enhance the quality of life for their occupants.

Generally speaking, urban buildings are larger than rural ones. In an urban location, less land is available per person, which explains why. Due to the necessity to optimise space, urban structures often stand higher than rural ones. On the other hand, rural structures often have more area around them and are more dispersed. As a result, there may be more gardens and green space, which helps balance off the negative effects of all the concrete and asphalt seen in most cities.

How is architecture influenced by the environment? - Sheet5
Green space in urban scape_©

When planning a structure, it’s crucial to consider factors like weather conditions, terrain, soil type, temperature, humidity, rain, wind, and wind direction. One should design a room that is more efficient and pleasant by taking into consideration the particular environmental circumstances of the location.

Pasive solar heating_©

For instance, one must consider keeping the inside cool while constructing a structure for a hot environment. Utilising materials that reflect heat or give shade from the sun are two ways to do this. You must take action to stop heat loss from the inside if you operate in a chilly region. This may be achieved using passive solar heating techniques or creating a well-insulated exterior.

One may design more sustainable and inviting structures for your customers by being aware of the surrounding environment and using it to your advantage.


1.Braun, S. (2019) How the environment becomes part of Architectural Design, ARCHER + BRAUN. ARCHER + BRAUN. Available at:’re%20inspired%20by%20views,often%20found%20in%20rural%20environments

2.Architectural design process (2020) First In Architecture. Available at:


Kukil is a fourth-year architecture student who enjoys reading and is interested in design, history, and world affairs.She is a firm believer of the philosophy "form follows function," and she frequently expresses her skill sets in developing creative ideas.