Architecture is constantly changing in order to keep up with humanity’s ever-changing requirements. From the need for shelter and safety and security to the need for comfort and beauty and technology, there are many reasons why architecture changes over time. Throughout history, one can trace development and progress through how architecture changes over time, tying architectural change to humanity’s advancement. Here is what you need to know about some of the reasons why architecture changes over time.
Factors Affecting Architectural Change
Architecture is as prone to trends as anything else, some of which don’t leave a lasting impact, but rather, are fleeting dalliances in change. Others, however, are revolutionary and affect the very future of architecture. From how buildings are used, to environmental changes, to historical impacts such as with war, politics, and religion, there are many reasons why architecture changes over time. Here are some of them.
#1. Construction Materials
The materials available and the materials used greatly impact architectural design. Throughout history, architecture has been affected by what construction materials people have had available to them, from thatched straw roofs in England to clay roof tiles in the Mediterranean to adobe homes in the American Southwest. What kind of materials architects had at hand has affected architecture and how it’s changed.
As people have interacted with each other and influenced each other and as they’ve learned more and more about what materials are good for what, as trade has expanded, as new materials have been discovered, architecture has changed over time. Architects have shared with each other what materials are good for what part of the structure, how long they last, how cost-effective and efficient they are. Now, there is a push for greener construction materials, which is changing architecture as we speak.
Functionality of buildings has changed as technology and needs have progressed. One of the key driving factors behind why architecture changes over time is function. Its purpose is to serve humanity’s needs, and these are ever changing. Throughout history, you can trace the function buildings were expected to provide through their architecture. Over the past century, during the advent of technology, architects have needed to change their designs in order to accommodate for ever-updating technology, such as plumbing and HVAC systems and electricity and more.
Buildings nowadays are meant to be both comfortable and useful. As society has progressed, so too have the different kinds of buildings that we need. Theaters, cinemas, schools, homes – depending on the function the building is expected to provide, the architectural design changes. The design of a school is very different than the design of a ballet school. Function, both in what the building is expected to provide and in what it needs to be functional, has affected how architecture changes over time.
#3. Solve Problems
People are constantly finding ways to solve problems that we may not even realize are there. Part of why architecture changes is to solve problems. For example, if a building is very dark, architects devise ways to change architecture in order for it to be lighter. If it’s very cold, they look at materials, and what materials could provide better insulation. Architecture is constantly changing in order to solve problems as we realize them and as they arise.
#4. Environmental Factors
Climate change is a major problem, and one architecture has a significant influence on. As climate change worsens, architects look to ways to make more sustainable buildings. This includes using alternative materials that are more eco-friendly, repurposing old buildings, and being more conscientious in their designs.
The environment also affects architectural change in how the environment itself changes. A house in a very hot climate has different requirements than one in a very cold climate. This is changing as the climate changes, ergo, affecting architecture.
Everyone and every industry changes with constructive criticism. One of the main reasons why architecture changes over time is due to the criticisms people have over designs. As architects work to problem solve, architecture changes to accommodate the needs that have been voiced and to fix the issues that have been raised.
#6. Historical Factors
All one needs to do to see how humanity has influenced each other is to look at architecture. Architecture relays culture, it relays history, it relays religion. Buildings that have been built during war are different than those that are places of worship. You can see traces of one culture in another’s architecture as they’ve crossed paths over time. History, war, religion, politics, these are all factors that impact architectural change.
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