Architecture is a study of the environment. It is designing a building for every purpose and needs. Architects are generalists. They study every aspect related to a project for every field. To design and address the needs of the users, one must understand its function. They are well equipped with the knowledge of each domain corresponding to the essentials of a building.

1. Engineering and Architecture

Engineering and architecture responsibilities overlap to a great deal. While an Architect is concerned with designing the space as per the needs of the clients, and the aesthetic appearance of the interior and exterior, an engineer’s role is to make sure it adheres to the design to appropriate building codes and the safety of the structure.

Architects and engineers communicate through blueprints and technical drawings; engineers work on the functional aspects of design like determining the structural members, electrical wire and power placement, air-conditioning systems, heating and ventilation, and plumbing systems.

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Bird Nest Stadium ©

2. Art and architecture

The closeness of this relationship isn’t surprising. Art is simultaneously taught in architecture schools, enhancing the students’ perception of the world.  Architect Antoni Gaudi and Le Corbusier have further highlighted the intersections between Art and Architecture; Art from architectural elements blended that only a few could recognize the difference, say for instance in Gaudi’s highly-decorated Sagrada Familia, or Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut. 

Art has similarly inspired architects. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s architectural modern approach was dedicated to clarity and simplicity. The Barcelona pavilion as a part of the 1929 International Exposition in Spain, was inspired by Painting ‘Rhythm of a Russian Dance by Theo Van Doesburg, 1918.

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Notre Dame De Haut ©
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Barcelona Pavilion ©

3. Healthcare and architecture

The objective of architecture in healthcare, as put forward by Joey Del Principe, healthcare architectural designer at McCalla Design Group in Dallas, is “facilitating patient safety and maximizing their quality of care is the goal for the architect, designer, contractor, and consultant”.

Patient care is complex, and the need to keep comfort in all situations and making the design emotionally supportive to patients and caregivers alike is important.

Three important parts of designing healthcare institutions are:

  • Right materials- non-porous material like tiles or porcelain reduce the potential for contaminants on surfaces
  • Community- placing elderly wards in the middle of communities helps to make the centre its area of socializing, learning and working.
  • Needs of medical staff- to improve job satisfaction and quality of care they provide, certain comforts for medical staff such as kitchens, spacious break rooms, access to nature, and outdoors go a long way.

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    Healthcare and Architecture: ©

4. Hospitality and architecture

Hotels are the gateway to any new city, and its design is crucial for the first impressions formed by tourists. Hotels and other hospitality sectors such as ships, resorts, etc. need to have a few common themes- they should reflect the unique features of local nature, be accessible easily from nearby cities and contain basic architectural amenities for the residents.

  • Brizenica Bay Four Seasons, Hvar, Croatia-

It celebrates the unique qualities of Adriatic landscapes such as pools and gardens that terrace up the hillside. The hotel is nestled within a pine tree forest typical for the region. 

  • Lush Spa, Liverpool –

Keeping with the aesthetic of the LUSH brand, Hyphen has carefully crafted every detail from skirting boards to door frames from sustainable materials. Full sound-proofing in treatment rooms and free ceilings helps to create an immersive experience for all coming to the spa. 

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Brizenca Bay Four Seasons ©
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Lush Spa, Liverpool ©

5. Politics and architecture

Architectural tradition is rarely altered throughout the globe –and yet, it has the power to influence governments. The way politicians are seated in the parliament or UN building for example-proximity of chairs to encourage teamwork and communication, the comfort of seating which influences mood and consequently outlook, forcing two partisan groups to sit in arrangements that promote collaboration affect political gridlock- these are all currently being studied to understand how to design the most functional government/parliamentary buildings.

Government buildings are also designed by architects with special consideration such as nearly the same distance of restrooms from all offices, symmetrical design on all floors for easy navigation, windows in all rooms, etc.

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House of Commons ©

6.Animals and architecture

Though architecture primarily focuses on human consumption and habitat, centred around satisfying day to day activities of humankind, there are many examples of architecture focused around animals. The best examples are wildlife parks and zoos. 

  • Tree-top trails in Philadelphia zoo 
  • Panda House by BIG: This structure will host 2 Pandas relocated from Chengdu, China. It is inspired by the Yin-Yang symbol, with each half tilting up at the other end. To replicate the natural environment in which pandas live, there is a denser forest on one side and “misty” one on the other.
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Tree-top Trails ©
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Panda House©

7.Carpentry and architecture

Architects are multi-faceted in their skills, with an understanding of carpentry and its principles being an important one. Architects often overlook certain situations such as wastage of material, difficulty in assembling furniture and the useful life of items for aesthetic properties. Good architects, however, tend to keep such constraints in mind.

Some advantages of carpenter-architect relationships are:

  • Reduction of budget submission time, which speeds up the whole process.
  • Increased security by reducing the possibility of ‘bad design’ or unfair expectations from either party
  • Improvement of finished project by proper alignment of architect and joiner through analysis of budget and price variation, leading to better choices.

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    Example ©

8.Nature and architecture

While most people tend to think of architecture as a human invention, it is all around us in nature. From the way birds design their nests to be rigid structures which don’t sway in the wind, to holes burrowed in by rabbits and moles for both reproduction and avoiding the eye of the predator, nature is the best architect. Not just animals, natural processes themselves create habitats and ecosystems of their own, most uniquely near mountains and beaches.

  • Malleefowl make giant mounds out of bird-made compost- these structures recorded at a maximum of 15 feet high and 35 feet wide, are nesting mounds. The male bird digs a hole and fills in with organic material like leaves, sticks and bark. The compost causes a fast decay, and at 89 to 93 degrees, the female lays eggs. The males have a temperature regulation system in place for the hatching of the eggs. 
  • Anthills are a natural architectural wonder due to the sheer size relative to the creatures themselves, the simplicity of creation and an important concept- self organizing mechanisms.How does Architecture overlap with various fields?- sheet11

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    Anthill Architecture ©



Anchal Tibrewal is a young architect and a nature enthusiast. Her work has led her to believe in the minute details that make all instances of architecture a reality. She is driven towards a sustainable design that has a strong relationship with the contexts it represents.

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