“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us,” Winston Churchill

How can Architecture make a community distinctive?

Communities across the globe are intriguingly vivid and yet share common grounds where they share, care, and interact.

The place where they live and spend most of the time of their life has a particular set of ideas for each community residing there.

However, eras of change in lifestyle and other natural or man-made factors have evolved the communities and also the space they inhabit. These communities vary in various aspects and are renowned for their special character which acts as an epicenter and everything directly or indirectly revolves around it. The list is very wide, colorful, and vibrant. For example, some places and the associated communities may run their lifestyles around art, theatre, luxury, ownership, landscape, and other geographical factors, vegetation or even population with the enormously growing population and technological trends, a very fascinating change in architectural trends has also come forward. With keen observation, we find, an inclusive community may not be inclusive anymore and vice versa. these outgrowths the need for more and different spaces that now enforce and allow public interaction. Even a small change triggers a need for a distinctive space may it be for essential aspects like shelter, or spaces enforcing social interaction like malls, plazas, and arenas. Architects are often believed to be change-makers, they are the ones everyone looks forward to when it comes to changes in the built environment for each specific community and have even proved it many times.

It is not limited to one place of a specific group of people but has a lot of types and typologies and hence the statistical outcomes are numerous.

Community living has long been an important part of architecture throws light on how even a small change ensures a remarkable change in making a community different from each other.

Architecture is beyond just providing spaces, it is about initiating and extending social interaction among groups. The surge in the development of high rise buildings with common interaction spaces has changed the perspective of inclusive living on a whole new level. People coming from different social and cultural backgrounds are often seen interacting and celebrating together and this all an outcome of architecture and it is unique to the community it caters to. The budding urban plazas which are not only functional and playful, have given rise to new forms of communities at the same time enhancing the aura of the existing ones.

Architecture is built with respect to the culture and context and with a fascinatingly wide global map, this ultimately results in different kinds of architecture all around. We immediately recognize a particular building or a place built in response to the needs of a particular community. To make it smoother, we see there are numerous temples and traditions in India and many cities, and also places inside the cities are focused around these cultural icons. On the other hand, countries like China Dubai are recognized for a skyline of unceasingly rising skyscrapers and architecture of luxury with the tallest building of the world for each respectively.

Certainly, we perceive a structure of a particular place with a memory of its culture with it. One cannot just randomly romanticize the architecture of a place without the community and culture of it involved with it.

And hence undoubtedly, each community leaves a distinctive mark of architecture to the place associated with it.

It fosters a unique sense of place particularly inculcating all the underlying details of architecture. For obvious reasons, each community has its sense of working and living which develops this sense of place and hence is thus unique.

This is being reminisced and also being respected through various ways like architectural conservation, adaptive reuse, and redevelopment of places which ensure that the distinctiveness is not lost.

Almost every country in the world has a very unusual style of architecture primarily because of many factors, some of them being discussed above, and hence is a landmark, an icon of its own. It embarks a journey of an ever-evolving process and some of them are establishing new stimuli to the fast life of today’s world, an effort to bring people together fostering community building, each distinctive in its way.


Sakshi Agrawal, a thorough enthusiast and an architecture student, she has a fascination for exploring the diverse Indian art, culture, food, people and places and their relationship with the architecture of a space. She is happy go lucky, fond of reading, sketching and a lot of coffee.