A place has the power to influence the mood and behaviour of people with its ambiance and atmosphere. A public park, a skyscraper, a restaurant, and a theatre although different in function, scale and form all fall under the same category which is architecture. Some spaces can be inviting like a café while some can be imposing like tall multi-storey buildings. 

Perception of space changes when one begins to learn about architecture. The mere concrete and brick structures become more than just buildings that serve their purpose and function. They become buildings with character, context, function, influence, and whatnot. These are a few things one starts to notice once they indulge in architecture and design. 

These are some of the things noticed in all structures.

A Story

Architecture has a way of drawing people’s attention to the smallest detail which can have significance. Through the design pattern, ornamentation, colour scheme, and any other detail a building can define its function, past, or purpose. Some buildings can be built in a different era and still portray the lifestyle of the people from that era. Spaces can also be designed to pay tribute and hence have a narrative to it describing and creating a certain experience for the user group.

The Jewish Museum in Berlin by Daniel Libeskind is a space that has a narrative in its design invoking emotions by giving a glimpse of the impact of the holocaust on the Jews and the city of Berlin. Although the building was built long after the world war it still captures the stories of the victims. 

Spaces are named after the segments of the past like the void, the garden of exile, the holocaust tower creating sensory and visual connections with the past.

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The Jewish Museum, Berlin_©Aoife Dowling_ Jewish Museum Berlin unveils latest extension | Architecture and design news

A Character 

The colour of the walls, the effect of light and shadow, the furniture used, the type of lighting, the materials used, and many other physical attributes paint a picture as a whole providing a distinct character or a theme to the space. This creates an appropriate ambiance suiting the function of the space. Through their architectural style and design, buildings can bring out a sense of truth, power, grace, calm from within.

More often than not we find civic buildings to be white with tall pillars. They seem to be intimidating making their presence and purpose clear. The use of the colour white symbolizes peace, neutrality, and purity as characteristics of the government. 

The Neoclassical style White House in Washington also is one such example. The ionic columns and the triangular pediment seem to mimic the architectural style of the Greek and Roman civic buildings emphasizing power and strength.

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The White House, Washington DC_©White House wallpapers, Man Made, HQ White House pictures | 4K Wallpapers 2019

A Context

A building can be shaped keeping the context in mind however it is not a rule and a slight deviation and contrast has also proved to work in its way.  One would hardly find a government building in a residential area because that would fail to ensure their safety.

Casa Mila in Spain built by Antony Gaudi is a modernist building with a very unconventional approach to design and material selection. Although placed in a residential context the building makes the rest of the buildings around it look mundane. 

The art nouveau style adapted shows great details in ornamentation and planning. The flowing dynamics of the building are supported by anthropomorphic figurines and ornamentations.

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Casa Mila, Spain_©Archivo Mas, Barcelona_ Casa Milá | building, Barcelona, SpainCasa Milá | building, Barcelona, Spain

An Influence

Can a structure influence people, society, and even the whole world? Most famous structures around the world create an impact on their immediate surroundings. Simple construction of a temple can give rise to a string of shops and markets around it. If the Taj Mahal was not constructed what would Agra be famous for? Would it be famous at all?

Meenakshi temple in Tamil Nadu, India is one of the most famous and frequently visited religious places. The Dravidian temple built in the 6th century has seen a series of transformations in its immediate context. 

The organically developed spaces serving the functions of the temple and also the needs of the pilgrims. Surrounded by small carts selling flowers and fruits for the temple rituals as well as large hotels and lodgings creating a bustling image of the street.

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Madurai Meenakshi Temple_©Krishnachaitu_   File:Madurai meenakshi temple (tamilnadu)4.jpg

A Sustainable Aspect 

Every space has a role to play in the environment’s well-being. Most concrete buildings emit carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere contributing to the global climatic crises. Keeping the idea of the carbon footprint of the building and its harmful effects new strategies and concepts like green buildings and net-zero buildings are paving the way to a more sustainable living condition that strives to provide the same comfort using less hazardous material and infrastructure.

One such green building is the ITC Green Centre in Gurgaon, India. The building was the first to receive a LEED certification in 2004. The usage of materials like fly-ash concrete and recycled glass made it environment-friendly. Recycled materials and low VOC materials were procured and used to create a green building that also had water harvesting systems and zero discharge water facilities.

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ITC Green Center, Gurgaon_©Amitav H_ITC Green Centre | Amitav H

A Development Factor

The idea of development is usually associated with cities. But why? What does development truly mean? Would you categorize a place as developed if it has a few skyscrapers? This a common misconception among people that have vastly altered the infrastructure and urban planning in cities. Development could also be defined by the sustainability of buildings, the functioning of public spaces, the strategic living conditions in a community. 

Singapore is amongst the highly developed countries and it is also on the list of sustainable and green countries. The infrastructure and the design methodology give importance to the environment and its safety. Initiatives like an incentive program where the greenery lost on the ground is replaced on the high-rise terrace gardens balance the land use pattern. 

Public spaces have a whole new meaning with the involvement of sustainability and development making a huge revenue out of tourism.

Gardens By The Bay, Singapore_©Danijel Mihajlovic_Gardens by the Bay – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The way one perceives a place could be different and subjective but what the place is trying to make the person feel will always be the same. So, architecture gives a whole new range of perspectives which allows one to notice the little things in and around a place. The world when viewed through the eyes of an architect is so much more than what meets the eye.








Spandana is an architecture student with a curious mind, who loves to learn new things. An explorer trying to capture the tangible and intangible essence of architecture through research and writing. She believes that there is a new addition to the subject everyday and there is more to it than what meets the eye.