Architecture for a layman is purely designing a building. For someone who has not studied architecture, it is all about the beautiful or non-beautiful exterior façade of a building. The same was the case with me before I entered the course of architecture. But everything changed once I started understanding the details of architecture.
The study of architecture changed my perspective by explaining how architecture is not limited to the study of buildings; it is also about the details of the structure, such as concept planning, construction type, construction materials, fire safety compliance, building services, sustainability planning in the structure, etc. It has also helped us in understanding the right ratio of built and unbuilt spaces and defining the private, semi-private and public spaces while designing.
It has helped me and many more to understand that architecture opens up a wide horizon of opportunities instead of just being a designer of a building. After studying architecture, one can choose to become a town planner, set designer, conservation architect, interior designer, architectural journalist, architectural photographer, and many more.
Sustainable architecture, which is also referred to as green/ environmental architecture, is a part of the concept planning of a structure that helps in minimizing the negative effect on the environment. Due to a lack of understanding in the past and rapid population growth, humans kept on building structures as per the need and convenience without focusing much on the environmental impacts it kept causing. While people have started to adapt to sustainable architecture, it is still a long way for us to start creating a positive, impactful difference in the environment.
Sustainability can be achieved by climate responsive conceptual designing (active and passive design methods), which helps the building survive many external factors, the use of local eco-friendly materials, the use of renewable energy, adding external enhancement to improve the indoor environment quality, reducing the production of waste and recycling or upcycling the products, these are some of the methods that help in attaining sustainability in the environment.
Architectural Psychology is about human behaviour or the human response to the built environment or spaces in their surroundings. “We see, hear, feel and smell each design element we choose,” says Sally Augustin at Forbes. Designing a space involves understanding the purpose of the space, exploring different materials accordingly, and planning light and ventilation areas as these factors affect the sensory environment of our body, enhancing the mental and physical well-being of the user. Different purpose requires different thought-process for designing the space; for example, a workplace needs to be designed in a way so that it helps in increasing the productivity of the people, a school has to make students undergo joy and curiosity, while an experiential museum needs to make people experience the concept that the architect is trying to portray.
The architects have the power to make you feel the space in a certain manner. Playing with the mass of the structure, the scale of the building, or the spaces designed in the interior of the building, are done to make an impact and create significance in the surroundings. The following images are of a few structures created by different architects that choose to create impact with their design.
A structure stands out not only by its external façade but also for its functionality; A building service is like a backbone to any structure. Building services majorly include mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services. Services like these help in providing efficiency in running the structure, providing comfort and safety to the users. This helps in enhancing the user experience.
Building Services is involved in all kinds of structures, but it varies in use as per different purposes of the structure. For instance, a commercial building and/or skyscrapers will require more services as the amount of time spent by the user there is more, whereas a school will require services based on the time and the usage of the space, and in the case of a hospital the services need to be extra particular as it calls for the emergency environment.
The course of architecture helped people understand the basics of designing pretty much anything. Designing is involved in every aspect, let be designing a building or a piece of furniture or our lives. Architecture gives a fair understanding of how detailed and complex a process of designing a structure is, from comprehending the load distribution of a structure to the kind of materials that needs to be used for construction. It has also made us understand the different styles and their values that were adopted by various architects around the world during different time periods like Classical Architecture, Renaissance Architecture, Gothic Architecture, Indian Architecture, Mughal Architecture, Modern Architecture, Deconstructivism Architecture, and many more.
Architecture is multilingual, allowing the architects to speak their own language through their designs, i.e., the language of design styles, methods of construction, and portraying the concerns for the environment. It is rightly said, “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us,” said Sir Winston Churchill in 1943.