Architecture has its origins in the building of towns and cities, and everyone understands this sense of the word, so it makes sense to begin by examining the meaning of ‘architecture’ in this traditional context. Architecture is a set of rules and conventions by which we create buildings that serve the purposes for which we intend them, both functionally and aesthetically. Our concept of architecture is one that supports our needs to live, to work, to do business, to travel, to socialise and to pursue our leisure. The multiplicity and complex interaction of these various activities must be supported, and this includes the relationship between the activities themselves and their integration into a whole lifestyle. Architecture is founded upon an understanding of the needs that it must fulfil.
These needs are expressed in terms of function, aesthetics, culture, government policies and civil priorities. They take into account how we feel about ourselves and about our neighbours, and how they feel about us. In these various ways, architecture must serve all those who will experience it in any way.
Architecture is also both driven and constrained by a number of specific factors. These include: the materials available within the locale that can be used for construction; the terrain, the prevailing climate; the technology; and the engineering skills of the people. This all boils down to three major factors that determine what architecture we will create. These factors are:
• The materials available within the locale that can be used for construction