1. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
During the introduction of the unit the students were asked about what they thought architecture was. There where various interesting answers very different from each other, such as the following:
“The art of making buildings with meaning, utility or aesthetics”, “The process from the order to the completion of the work or rehabilitation”, “It is the fusion between art, science and technology”, “The process of creating and building an idea”, “Have an idea, translate it into a project and then build it”, “Guarantee society what it asks of you while respecting the nature and order of the city”, “A mix between the technique of an engineering and the beauty of art” or “One of the seven arts. It is a palette of different parts of arts itself. Architecture is the art and science of drawing on the exterior and interior design of it, and placing its systems following regulations”.
If we look at the definition of architecture in a dictionary it is a slightly different, according to the RAE (Real Academia Española) architecture is the art of designing and constructing buildings.
As we know, architecture encompasses many ideas, most of them can be summarized by the following terms, culture, composition, landscape, history, identity, monuments, development, technology, masterpieces, ephemeral, eternal, client, heritage, interdisciplinary and order.
A very interesting video on this topic is the following, in which Professor K. Michael Hays introduces a module on Aldo Rossi by considering what the “that” refers to in Adolf Loos’s famous quotation, “That is architecture.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXLHxJhGcJU
Continuing on “what is architecture” here are some great architects reflections about the topic:
Marcus Vitruvius said “Architecture is the art of building”
Nikolaus Pevsner said “A bicycle shed is a building. Lincoln Cathedral is a work of architecture”
Richard Leland said “Architecture is the inevitable art, we are in continuous contact with it… we can avoid contemplating paintings, sculptures or any other work of art but architecture, it affects us constantly, configures our behavior and conditions our state of mind…”.
Adolf Loos said “The house has to please everyone, unlike a work of art that doesn’t have to please anyone. The work of art is a private affair of the artist. The house is not. The work of art is placed in the world without any requirement that forces it to be born. The house covers a need (…) Shouldn’t architecture be understood outside art?” and “Only a very small part of architecture is included in the world of art: funerary and commemorative monuments. Everything else, everything that has a purpose has to be excluded from the world of art”
William Morris said “Architecture embraces the entire physical environment that surrounds human life, we cannot escape from it as long as we are a part of civilization, because architecture is the sum of modifications and alterations introduces into the land in order to satisfy human needs”
Juan Calduch Cervera said “The dominion of nature creates culture through technique (…) Construction as technique is the way to dominate our environment to turn into architecture”.
In conclusion, we can say architecture is a mixture between art and technique, that allows to create buildings and constructions, which are provided with functionality for the needs of human life. These buildings improve the society, and we can see through them the passage of time. The architecture creates spaces through the imagination over the materials.