One of the principal roles of architecture is to trigger emotions, it influences how one feels spiritually and mentally. Architecture helps in surviving the chaos of our daily life and plays an important role in making us experience real-time situations with different design interventions. When an architecture exudes a ‘sense of place’ then the occupants can connect with the place. A sense of place helps an architecture to sculpt a personality and different personalities of architecture trigger different emotions. An architect can never predict what someone’s reaction towards an architecture will be but should always get towards a richly associative architecture away from the diagrammatic and abstract architecture.

Human emotion is an important factor while designing architecture because when architecture connects emotionally with the occupants then the message that an architect wants to give through his piece of work and the message that he wants to convey is felt more deeply and leaves an enduring impression. The perception of architecture is impacted by the occupants through the critical linking of the emotions. Also, buildings should always build according to the context of the place because architecture is already very violent. To build any space first we need to demolish the existing environment and then we build a space. Every element of a building, like materials, structures, and building’s construction directly impacts the character of the space.

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[amidst the chaotic lifestyle, National Library of Kolkata is the ‘quiet zone’ for the people of the City of Joy] [Source- ©]
Architecture is all about being moved, it is not about feeling good or bad. It is a feeling of a sense of passion, intensity, and involvement that goes very deep. An architect should be able to connect people not just with the physical environment but also with memories and trigger emotional responses with a place.

In the case of public space let us talk about the library and see what kind of emotions it triggers. Libraries are considered as a serious space and exude dignity and restraints. Every time a person visits a library he/she is secluded from the noisy life of the outside world as if the library has safely engulfed him/her and has transported to another dimension. It makes a person feel as if he has discovered something for the very first time.

In the contemporary city, it is very difficult to sense the atmosphere of a library, the ambiance of a library is opposite to that of the world outside it. Every element in a library affects our emotions. The amplified sound. The furniture, smell of the books, quality and intensity of light, the materials, and the people around us, all get highly appreciated.

Another very important emotion that a library triggers is peace, that the 21st-century time-poor citizens lack the most. With so many social exchanges online and a clustered Wi-Fi zone, what we lack in today’s world is a ‘quiet zone’ where one can relax and come back to the reality of social surroundings from the virtual world.

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[Kindergarten with bright colors and well ventilated] [Source- ©]
Different spaces trigger different emotions according to the age, gender, sexual orientation, and ability of a person. A huge space can be quite intimidating for kindergarten children. Bright colored spaces with natural ventilation and open spaces make a child feel at ease and energetic whereas too much bright color space is not suitable for elderly people, they require soothing space with light colors with not so bright colors.

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[Choice of colors for elderly people’s space should be soothing] [Source- ©]
 Again spaces with too many stairs can make a physically challenged person feel estranged and alienated. Dark spaces with no windows and blank walls have the capacity of impairing one mentally but also it emits a sense of danger and warns one to keep off that space for one’s safety.

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[Too many stairs can make disabled people feel alienated] [Source-©]
One of the best examples of architecture expressing emotion is the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. One does not have to be religious to connect with the souls who lost their lives on that fateful day nor one needs to be a relative or have any kind of prior connection with the deceased. People who visit the place automatically get connected with the history of the place because the simple architecture of that place speaks to them, as they can feel the emptiness of the place and get enwrapped in their own emotion that the place exudes. 

9/11 Memorial & Museum is left as it was after the destruction and very minor changes have been done with no exaggerated ornamentations to keep the unique identity of the place, this identity is what connects the people with the place and triggers different emotions and makes the place sacred for everyone.

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[9/11 Memorial & Museum] [Source- ©]
Simple design choices change to have a great impact on human emotions and it is very important to choose every element of architecture very carefully. Sometimes even the most neutral architecture can be very aggressive.


She is a budding architect hailing from the city of joy, Kolkata. With dreams in her eyes and determination in her will, she is all set to tell stories about buildings, cultures, and people through her point of view. She hopes you all enjoy her writings. Much love.