Buildings come in all shapes and sizes, when looking around your local town centre or housing estate it is easy to think that properties are only there for practical use.
But take a look at the finer details, or the bigger picture. Buildings are not always just for practicality, a good architect will incorporate both functionality and beauty into their designs.
So when exactly does a building turn into a work of art? Beauty can be found in even the most ordinary of places but a structure becomes something more when the designer makes it so.
Art is an expression, a communication of thoughts, feelings and concepts. An architect may design a building with solely functionality in mind, or they may design a building to stand tall and commanding, or sweeping gracefully across a landscape. When a building is meant to convey meaning or evoke emotion from a spectator, then it is art.
In Moscow’s Red Square stands St Basil’s Cathedral. Inside, there are many small churches and intimate rooms for services, even more has been added to the building since its completion in 1561. The cathedral stands 156ft tall, with 2 spires and 10 domes, each more brightly coloured than the last. With its bright patterns and spiralling colours towering over the red square, it is a building that is made to be admired. From the moment it was built it was art.
This status has only been affirmed by the history surrounding it and travel russia describes St Basil’s as “Meaning to Russians the same as the Eiffel Tower to the French, being an honorable symbol of their past, present, and future.” The weight of its history and the significance of that gives it greater artistic recognition as it holds cultural and historical importance.
Another famous beautiful build is the Sydney Opera house on Port Jackson in New South Wales. Construction started in 1959, making it several hundred years younger than St Basil’s Cathedral.
One major change that occurred in this time period is the invention of electricity, and thus electrical lighting. The bearing this has had on architectural design is enormous, and is particularly prominent in the design of the Sydney Opera House. During the day the building stands tall with smooth white surfaces and curves, looking clean cut and open. Even in the daylight it stands apart from other buildings and is extremely eye-catching.
At night however, the site has a completely different atmosphere as the building itself is turned into a canvas for various projected images and light shows. The Sydney Opera House is an excellent example of artistic architectural design, perfectly balancing beauty with functionality.
Many buildings are not designed with aesthetics in mind, or do not fit into modern day trends and ideals. Although something may not be built to fit our perception of beauty that does not mean there is no beauty within it, and architectural design is just one way to make a structure striking.
As mentioned before, art is meant to convey some sense of meaning or emotion. If your building, perhaps your home or office, doesn’t do this then make some changes. Not all beautiful buildings are art from construction, but can be made that way through considerate planning and minimal work. Art is incredibly individual, so think about what qualities, styles, or possessions move you and work from there! Keep an eye on our blog for the latest in beautiful architectural design.