So you want to be an architect – Part 4


Hi. Im Doug Patt 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.
Narrowed from a gamut of items I believe you could say the elements of style, when it comes
to buildings are scale, form, complexity, and material. Lets look at examples of each.
Much has been made throughout the history of art and architecture over proportion from
DaVincis canon of proportions to Le Corbusiers modular man. How buildings reflect & accommodate
human scale is a key component of architects work. From the beginning architects like Palladio
used ratio and proportion found in nature to create harmonious buildings. From Frank
Lloyd Wrights cozy interiors to the grand palace of Versailles. to the Hancock skyscraper
of Boston whos scale overwhelms the famous trinity church but was designed to reflect
its beauty nonetheless building can be scaled to the human figure or scaled in a more ambiguous
manner. Ambiguity is key for Jean Nouvels Arab world institute where the elements of
the elevation make scale 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 of form.
From Norman Fosters Hearst tower in New York city or his Gherkin skyscraper in London to
the Millau viaduct in France, from Rem Koolhaas seattle central library to his CCTV building
in china. From Santiago Calatravas Milwaukee art museum to his Hemispheric in Spain. With
Herzog and de Meurons birds nest arena in China or Renzo Pianos Nemo museum in Amsterdam,
architects today work within a realm of form perhaps never imagined before. A buildings
aesthetic complexity is also an element that portrays a certain idea or ethos. From the
classicism of Bernard Maybecks palace of fine arts, or Louis Sullivans intricate ornamental
stone detailing, the work reflects the spirit of an era. Theres detail that might emphasizes
verticality as in Raymon hoods Chicago tribune building or Cesar Pellis Patronis towers in
Malaysia, or horizontality as in Frank Lloyd wrights prarie style homes. A building can
also be ornamental in a unique way like Antonio Gaudis buildings or simplified to only steel
and glass as in Mies Van Der Rohs aesthetic. They can also be free of detial like Le Corbusiers
La tourette or Louis Kahns Salk institute. Lastly, every building ever made is made from
something. The material an architect chooses to build with is affected by both cost and
intent. From IM Peis Louve pyramid and Hong Kong towers of steel and glass to the concrete
work of Zaha Hadid, from the cold steel exteriors of Sir Richard Rogers in the Lloyds of London
to the cool white porcelain tiles of Richard Meier or the stone facades 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. Its 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 so you want to be an architect.
Im Doug Patt. See you next time.

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