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upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted),
Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734.
Plan</a> of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734.
Architecture (Latin ''
architectura ''Architectura: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Baukunst'' is a biannual peer-reviewed Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self ...

architectura
'', from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων ''arkhitekton'' "architect", from ἀρχι- "chief" and τέκτων "creator") is both the process and the product of
planning Planning is the process A process is a series or set of Action (philosophy), activities that interact to produce a result; it may occur once-only or be recurrent or periodic. Things called a process include: Business and management *Business pro ...

planning
,
design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype A prototype is an early sample, model, ...
ing, and constructing
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a w ...
s or other
structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A ...

structure
s. Architectural works, in the material form of
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a w ...
s, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as
works of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetics, aesthetic value. Except for "work of art", which may be used of any work regarded as art in its widest sense, including works fr ...

works of art
. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements. The practice, which began in the prehistoric era, has been used as a way of expressing
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in ...
for civilizations on all seven
continents A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, these ...
. For this reason, architecture is considered to be a form of
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of what constitutes art, and i ...
. Texts on architecture have been written since ancient time. The earliest surviving text on
architectural theory Architectural theory is the act of thinking, discussing, and writing about architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor ...
is the 1st century AD treatise ''
De architectura (''On architecture'', published as ''Ten Books on Architecture'') is a treatise on architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45, alt=Plan ...

De architectura
'' by the Roman architect
Vitruvius Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (; c. 80–70 BC – after c. 15 BC), commonly known as Vitruvius, was a Roman Republic, Roman author, architect, and civil engineer, civil and military engineering, military engineer during the 1st century BC, known ...

Vitruvius
, according to whom a good building embodies , and (durability, utility, and beauty). Centuries later,
Leon Battista Alberti Leon Battista Alberti (; 14 February 1404 – 25 April 1472) was an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, Catholic priest, priest, linguistics, linguist, philosopher and cryptography, cryptographer; he epitomised the Polyma ...

Leon Battista Alberti
developed his ideas further, seeing beauty as an objective quality of buildings to be found in their proportions.
Giorgio Vasari Giorgio Vasari (, also , ; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian painter, architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connecti ...

Giorgio Vasari
wrote ''
Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects ''The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects'' ( it, Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori), also known as ''The Lives'' ( it, Le Vite), is a series of artist biographies written by 16th-century It ...
'' and put forward the idea of style in the arts in the 16th century. In the 19th century,
Louis Sullivan Louis Henry Sullivan (September 3, 1856 – April 14, 1924) was an American architect, and has been called a "father of skyscrapers" and "father of modernism". He was an influential architect of the Chicago school (architecture), Chicago S ...
declared that "
form follows function Form follows function is a principle of design associated with late 19th and early 20th century architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45 ...
". "Function" began to replace the classical "utility" and was understood to include not only practical but also aesthetic, psychological and cultural dimensions. The idea of
sustainable architecture Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century in the '' Anno Domini'' era or Common Era, in accordance with ...
was introduced in the late 20th century. Architecture began as rural, oral
vernacular architecture Vernacular architecture is building done outside any academic tradition, and without professional guidance. This category encompasses a wide range and variety of building types, with differing methods of construction, from around the world, b ...
that developed from trial and error to successful replication. Ancient urban architecture was preoccupied with building religious structures and buildings symbolizing the political power of rulers until Greek and Roman architecture shifted focus to civic virtues.
Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
and
Chinese architecture Chinese architecture is an architectural style that developed over millennia in China, before spreading out to influence architecture throughout East Asia. Since the solidification of the style during the early Imperial China, imperial period, t ...
influenced forms all over Asia and
Buddhist architecture Buddhist religious architecture developed in the Indian subcontinent. Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture Sacral architecture (also known as sacred architecture or religious architecture) is a religion, religi ...
in particular took diverse local flavors. During the
European Middle Ages The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of written records. During the Neolith ...
, pan-European styles of
Romanesque Romanesque may refer to: In art and architecture *First Romanesque, or Lombard Romanesque architectural style *Pre-Romanesque art and architecture, a term used for the early phase of the style *Romanesque architecture, architecture of Europe wh ...
and
Gothic Gothic or Gothics may refer to: People and languages *Goths or Gothic people, the ethnonym of a group of East Germanic tribes **Gothic language, an extinct East Germanic language spoken by the Goths **Crimean Gothic, the Gothic language spoken by ...
cathedrals and abbeys emerged while the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in m ...
favored Classical forms implemented by
architects An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that ha ...
known by name. Later, the roles of architects and
engineers Engineers, as practitioners of engineering Engineering is the use of scientific method, scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The dis ...

engineers
became separated.
Modern architecture Modern architecture, or modernist architecture, was an architectural movement or architectural style based upon new and innovative technologies of construction, particularly the use of glass, steel, and reinforced concrete; the idea that Form fo ...

Modern architecture
began after
World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously known as the Great War or "The war to end war, the war ...

World War I
as an
avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adjective, radical, or unorthodox with respect to The arts, art, culture, or society.John Picchione, The New Av ...
movement that sought to develop a completely new style appropriate for a new post-war social and economic order focused on meeting the needs of the middle and working classes. Emphasis was put on modern techniques, materials, and simplified geometric forms, paving the way for high-rise superstructures. Many architects became disillusioned with modernism which they perceived as ahistorical and anti-aesthetic, and
postmodern Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy, the arts, architecture, and criticism, marking a departure from modernism. The term has been more generally applied to describe Postmodernity, ...
and
contemporary architecture Contemporary architecture is the architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne ...
developed. Over the years, the field of architectural construction has branched out to include everything from ship design to interior decorating.


Definitions

Architecture can mean: * A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.''Shorter Oxford English Dictionary'' (1993), Oxford, * The art and science of
design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system or for the implementation of an activity or process, or the result of that plan or specification in the form of a prototype A prototype is an early sample, model, ...
ing
building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a w ...
s and (some)
nonbuilding structure A nonbuilding structure, also referred to simply as a structure, refers to any body or system of connected parts used to support a load that was not designed for continuous human occupancy. The term is used by architect An architect is a p ...
s. * The style of design and method of construction of buildings and other physical structures. * A unifying or coherent form or structure. * Knowledge of art, science, technology, and humanity. * The design activity of the architect, from the macro-level (
urban design Urban design is the process of designing and shaping the physical features of cities, town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish betw ...
,
landscape architecture Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioural, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic design and general engineering of various structures for construction ...
) to the micro-level (construction details and furniture). The practice of the
architect An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that ha ...

architect
, where architecture means offering or rendering professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments.


Theory of architecture

Illustration of bracket arm clusters containing cantilevers_from_''Yingzao_Fashi'',_a_text_on_architecture_by_Li_Jie_(author).html" "title="Yingzao_Fashi.html" ;"title="cantilevers from ''Yingzao Fashi">cantilevers from ''Yingzao Fashi'', a text on architecture by Li Jie (author)">Li JueLi Jue may refer to: *Li Jue (Han Dynasty) (died 198), general of the Han Dynasty * Li Jue (Tang Dynasty) (c. 784–852), chancellor of the Tang Dynasty *Li Jue (Kuomintang) (1900–1987), general of the Republic of China {{hndis, Li, Jue