A Short Introduction to Architectural History

Architecture is the product and the process of building, designing, and arranging buildings or other physical structures. Architectural projects, at the basic material form of houses, can be seen as artistic works and as visual symbols. Architecture involves the arrangement of spaces, materials, and surfaces. Architects also form relationships with homeowners and with other people.

As we can see from the examples mentioned above, architecture is an art, which involves both technical skills and aesthetic sense. Both are interrelated, which means that not just any architect can design any structure. Aesthetic appreciation of architecture is very subjective, as is the appreciation of natural world architecture. In nature, there are many different forms of architecture, such as earthen architecture, stucco architecture, roof architecture, etc. Aesthetic appreciation of natural world architecture depends on our personal taste for aesthetics. But aesthetic appreciation of architecture has more than aesthetic sense.

Architectural systems are the patterns of arrangement of materials used in buildings. They form the skeleton of the building. Systems have to be well-planned in order to have a long-term effect, as they have a considerable influence on human comfort. Therefore, it is not surprising that most architects consider architecture more than aesthetics when designing a house.

The industrial revolution introduced a new type of architecture, typified by box-like, self-supporting buildings, which are also called modular buildings. Modular buildings became a major development during the 20th century. Their design was highly influenced by the industrial revolution. They are made up of a series of rooms or sections connected by hallways, stairways, passageways and ducts. Modern industrial architecture gave birth to such constructions as office complexes, shopping malls, hospitals, government buildings, bus stations, sky scrapers, steel plants and airports.

The twentieth century witnessed a great development in the field of architecture. Modernism heralded the beginning of an architecture movement, typified by rounded structures and geometric forms. This movement did much to popularize the building design of cubicles. In this modernistic age, the only thing architects can do is add a certain aesthetic value to the basic structure of the buildings. Since the main article of architecture is the utilization of space, cubicles play an important role.

Architects have to decide whether their buildings should have a concrete structure, which can be easily maintainable and modifiable, or whether they should be more ornamental in nature and made of natural world materials. The choice of material depends on the time period, the geographical location and the purpose of the building. It is believed that the main role of architecture in society is to provide for the basic needs of man. Buildings are the embodiment of people and their need to beautify the surroundings.

Modernism changed the face of architecture completely as it broke all ties with traditional forms and replaced them with new, bolder patterns. However, architects are required to follow the guidelines set forth by the government while constructing structures, especially buildings in urban centers. This includes choosing the appropriate building materials such as the building materials used in the construction of public places, airports, skyscrapers, schools and colositories etc. The use of specific materials is necessary in order to make the structure attractive to the viewers.

Aesthetic appeal is not the only reason for the popularity of architecture. Mainly, the use of engineering and technical skills is responsible for the overall appearance of the structures. Special techniques like insulation, ventilation, water drainage and lighting are applied in order to ensure that the temperature inside the buildings remains constant and does not fluctuate. All these features make the modern architecture a highly demanding one.

A Short Introduction to Architectural History
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