What is Architecture | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

What is Architecture

Architecture is a passion, a vocation, a calling – as well as a science and a business. It has been described as a social art and also an artful science. Architecture must be of the highest quality of design. Architecture provides, in the words of Marcus Vitruvius, the great Roman architect and historian, “firmness, commodity and delight.1

Architecture provides a sense of place and support of all types of human activity. Architecture helps the man-made fit in harmony with the environment while promoting health and well-being, enriching lives aesthetically and spiritually, providing economic opportunities, and creating a legacy that reflects and symbolizes culture and traditions.

1 1st Century BC Roman Architect Vitruvius is the author of the treatise De architectura. The work is divided into 10 books dealing with city planning and architecture in general; building materials; temple construction; public buildings; private buildings; clocks; hydraulics; and civil and military engines. His work was used as a classic text book from ancient Roman times to the Renaissance.

Firmness refers to structural integrity and durability;

Commodity refers to spatial functionality or in other words, “serving its purpose” and fulfilling the function for which the building was constructed;

Delight means that the building is not only aesthetically and visually pleasing, but also lifts the spirits and stimulates the senses.