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What does an architect use to be creative? Learn how the architect uses scale, form, complexity and material to create a ...
framework for style. That framework then gives the architect parameters to draw upon for their creations.
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Hi I'm Doug Pat, and this is So You Want To Be an Architect. Part 4, what does an architect use? Aside from the wide variety of items an architect uses to physically create the drawings, specifications, models and paperwork necessary to make buildings, the architect uses elements of style to create buildings. Let’s break style down into four components: scale, form, complexity and material. And look at examples of each as they pertain to being used by the architect. Latches been made throughout the history of art and architecture over scale from DaVinci’s—of proportions to look who Bucier’s modular man, how buildings reflect and accommodate human scale is a key component of architects work.
From the beginning, architects like Andrea Plato used ratio and proportion found in nature to create harmonious buildings. From Frank Lloyd Wright’s cozy interiors to the grand palace over side to the Hancock’s skyscraper of Boston whose scale overwhelms the famous Trinity Church but was designed to reflect its beauty nonetheless. A building can be scaled to the human figure or scale to the more ambiguous manner. Ambiguity is key for Jean Novels arboreal institute in Paris where the elements of elevation makes the scaled extraordinarily vague. So scale is one way architects relate a building to the user.
In the last few decades, architecture has increasingly been able to take advantage of advanced technologies that have allowed them to build with incredible freedom to form. From Norman Foster’s Hearst Tower in New York City or his crooked skyscraper in London to the Millau viaduct in France, from Rem Koolhaas’ Seattle Central Library to the CCTV building in China, from Santiago College Rubas, Milwaukee Art Museum to his Museum of Science Hemispheric and Opera House in Spain with Herzog and de Meuron’s Bird’s Nest arena in China or Renzo Piano’s Nemo museum in Amsterdam.
Architects today work within a realm of form perhaps never imagined before. A buildings esthetic complexity is also an element that portrays a certain idea or Ethos. From the classicism of Bernard Maybach’s Palace of Fine Arts or Louis Sullivan’s intricate ornamental stone detailing. The work reflects the spirit of an era. There is detail that might emphasize verticality as in Raymond Hood’s Chicago Tribune Building. Phillip Johnson’s PPG Place in Pittsburg or Caesar Pelé’s Petronas towers in Malaysia or horizontality, as in Frank Floyd Wright’s prairie style homes.
A building can also be ornamental in a unique way like Antonio Gaudi’s buildings or simplified, only steel and glass as in—Complexity can be stripped down to bare form as in—Louis Khan’s Silk Institute.
Lastly, every building ever made is made from something. The material an architect uses to build with id affected by both cost and intent. From I.M. Pei’s Louvre Pyramid and Bank of China tower of steel and glass to the concrete work of Zaha Hadid. From the cold steel exteriors of Sir Richard Rogers in the—of London Building to the cool white porcelain tiles of Richard Meyer with a stone façades of Herzog and de Meuron, architects continue to work with great freedom in the realm of material which only promises to become even more advanced and unlimited. It's up to the architect to take the meaning and intent of their commission and have the architecture reflect that in some way using scale, form, complexity and material the architect, creates a framework for style. And that concludes the fourth part of the video series of So You Want to Be an Architect. I'm Doug Pat, see you next time.