What Is Architecture?

Architecture is the creative process and the output of designing, planning, and building structures or other architectural structures. Architectural works, from the simplest material form such as houses, to the most intricate works like skyscrapers, are regarded as artistic works and as cultural icons. Architectural works have been the subject of numerous controversies since the inception of the art form itself, and these controversies have been rooted in and attributed to religious intolerance, ethnic rivalries, political power, and religious beliefs. In modern times, however, Architectural styles are usually produced by professional architects who adhere to a strict code of ethics that guide their professional actions.

In the twentieth century, with the Second World War erupting and Europe’s remaining intact, there was an influx of architects from all over the world to take advantage of the post-war reconstruction boom. As these industrial architects left the cities for places outside of Europe, a new genre of architecture called “Aesthetic” architecture was born. This style of architecture emphasized the use of beautiful materials and structures which were representative of beauty. The stylized and exaggerated proportions of the “Aesthetic” architecture bore a lot of resemblance to works of architecture during the Renaissance, though they differ primarily in their lack of attention to accuracy.

There has been a recent trend, however, where the buildings designed by industrial architects can be considered as art in themselves. An increasing number of commercial buildings are being designed and constructed as art forms. Commercial architecture is credited to the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, and the likes of Koolhaas, de Gris, Zaha Hadid, and Coop Himmelb(I) as. This tendency is further fueled by the fact that many famous landmarks in the world such as the Eiffel Tower and the Chateaus des Beaux-arts are in fact buildings which were designed and built by commercial architects. These buildings represent works of architecture that have been commercialized, and therefore are given artistic value far beyond their practical functionality.