Few things are as permanent as a building, and few things have as much of an impact on the community they exist in. The decisions made during the design process will influence how the occupants live and move for decades or even centuries to come.
One of the core tenants of modern architecture is creating spaces that can be accessed by everyone who needs to use them. Although accessibility seems like a simple goal in concept, you might be surprised at the way in which buildings designed even a few decades ago are not prepared to handle the requirements of their occupants.
Architectural accessibility typically centers around mobility concerns. Everything from the placement of stairs to the way a door swings can impact how well someone with a physical or sensory disability can navigate the room. Although there usually are governmental regulations in place, these rules are retroactive in nature. To ensure the longevity of each project, a truly great architect considers accessibility from the perspective of the people who will use that design.
Culture is derived from both a location and its people. A building can influence a local culture by providing meeting spaces, changing the area’s appearance, and inviting different types of commerce into the community. Future lifestyles ride on a city’s decision to install a shopping center or a library – and the architect’s interpretation of that shopping center or library will have an equal amount of impact.
Culture is incredibly personal to every local populace. Part of an architect’s job is researching and understanding an area before creating a building that will exist in that space. The building will also represent the client’s impact on the community they are moving into, which makes the architect’s cultural sensitivity all the more important.
Architecture is a form of art, and every choice the designer makes will communicate some message to anyone who knows how to read it. From the materials and where they were sourced to the building style that is used as inspiration, an architect can show emotion, foresight, and integrity in every finished project.
The next time you’re standing in a public building, take a moment to think about the feelings the architect wanted to evoke. Is the environment sterile and professional, open and airy, or elegant and majestic? Are the materials practical, luxurious, or both? A more trained eye might be able to recognize specific styles and understand the intellectual legacies that they stem from, but any observer can notice the general tone held by a building or any other piece of art.
Architects build the world that communities exist in. By creating buildings that are accessible to all occupants, sensitive to cultural norms, and expressive of positive messages, architectural designers can install a lasting piece of history that will be appreciated by generations to come.
Does your community need a new piece of architecture? Contact SEA Studios to start work on your project today.