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Architecture Past and Present

Architecture is more than just buildings, its where people work and live.
Architecture is the art, science, and business of building. Architects create homes,
offices, schools and churches. They are talented people with a flair for design,
awareness of trends, knowledge of business, and have solid engineering skills and
an understanding of the law.
The history of architecture goes back thousands of years. In prehistory times,
since the earliest date 11,600 BC, humans have been building structures
underground, in the sand, in forests, in rock, just about anywhere and everywhere.
As early as 3500 BC, humans constructed earthen mounds, megaliths (which are
large stones linked together to make a monument or building), cliff dwellings, mud
structures and Stonehenge. Stonehenge is a prehistoric stone monument in
Wiltshire, England built in 3100 BC. By 3050 BC, humans were building pyramids. In
Ancient Egypt powerful rulers made their slaves construct large pyramids such as
the Pyramid of Giza, which is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the
Giza pyramid complex border what is now El Giza, Egypt. These pyramids were feats
of engineering that were capable of reaching great heights. As we get to the
classical age, from 850 BC to 476 AD, columns were established. Columns were
marks of power and continue to influence building designs in modern day. The
renaissance era was the Age of Awakening for architecture. Architecture became
more popular and more beautiful. Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry,
proportion, and geometry and they are demonstrated in ancient Roman
architecture, of which many examples remain. Orderly arrangements of columns,
pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes,
niches and aedicule replaced the more complex proportional systems and irregular
profiles of medieval buildings. Long after the era ended, architects in the western
world found inspiration in the beautiful architecture of that day. In the renaissance
period, architects studied the remains of buildings from the Roman and Greek
civilizations and recorded their findings for ideas for their own work. In the 1890s to
1914, the New Style Art Nouveau architecture became popular. It was first
impressed in fabrics, graphic designs, and furniture. It soon spread to buildings by
incorporating asymmetrical shapes, arches, and decorative surfaces with curves
and plant like designs. Neo-Gothic or Gothic Revival architecture came in between

1905 and 1930. Neo-Gothic ideas were applied to modern buildings like castles,
cathedrals, and other structures. Gargoyles, arched windows, and other medieval
details even ornamented soaring skyscrapers. After that Art Deco architecture took
hold which have zigzag patterns and vertical lines that create dramatic effects on
buildings. This was inspired by the architecture of Ancient Egypt. Now, in the 21 st
century we have modern architecture with lots of different segments. I will touch on
some of the different architectural buildings later.
There are so many types of architectures and also thousands of architects
that its impossible to touch on all of them but theres a couple that really stand out
and have changed the architectural world. One of them is Leonardo da Vinci. Most
people know him for his paintings but he also conceptualized a lot of flying
machines, armored fighting vehicles, concentrated solar power, adding machines,
and architecture. Milan Cathedral in Piazza del Duomo, in Milano, Italy is one
building Leonard de Vinci designed. He had no idea but he was giving future
architects ideas for their own buildings. Another great architect was Frank Lloyd
Wright. He was a 20th century American architect, interior designer, writer, and
educator. He designed more than 1,000 structures but only 532 of them were
completed. By 1901, Wright had completed 50 projects, including his house located
in Oak Park, Illinois. During the latter 1920s and 1930s Wrights organic style had
fully matured with the design help of Graycliff, Fallingwater, and Taliesin West.
An architect has the biggest role in making a building, they are the one who
plan and design the building and oversea the construction. The drafter also plays a
role in the making of a building. The drafter takes the designs from the architect and
engineers and uses a software to concert them into technical drawings and plans.
Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) is a well-used software all over the
world. The drafter also makes drawings.
A typical building process has five phases. The Schematic Design phase, the
Design Development phase, the Construction Documents phase. The Bidding and
Negotiation phase and the Contract Administration phase. During the Schematic
Design phase the initial rough drawings are made. During the Design Development
phase, the schematic drawings that were satisfactory to the client will be developed
further thinking about materials, colors as well as more specific details about the

building systems like what kind of structure, ventilation, plumbing and electrical is
best. During the Construction Documents phase enough detail is developed in the
drawings so that a contractor could actually build the design. During the Bidding
and Negotiation phase the client reviews the results of the bidding process ad
awards a construction contract to the successful bidder. During the Contract
Administration phase the actual building begins.
Many types of architectural drawings are made to give architects and their
clients different perspectives of the building they are designing. Presentation
drawings is the first one. They arent intended to appear realistic but they include
people, vehicles, and trees. It is intended to give design ideas and to communicate
these ideas and concepts. Survey drawings are used to measure existing land,
structure, and surrounding buildings. These drawing are every similar to topography
drawings. Architects need accurate survey drawings to properly make plans for a
building. Construction workers also need exact dimensions in order to complete
their work correctly. Record drawings are used sometimes when working on very
large buildings. Record drawings, also called As-Built drawings are a revised set of
drawings submitted by a contractor upon the completion of a project. They reflect
all the changes made in the specifications and work drawings during the
construction process, and show the exact dimensions, geometry, and location of all
elements of the work completed. Working drawings include the architects drawings,
such as structural and service engineers drawings. Location drawings include floor
plans, sections, elevations, etc. The final set of drawings are assembly drawings;
these show wall details in layers. All those drawings are used in building a house or
a skyscraper.
The process of getting to the building of a building is fairly long. It starts with
a client approaching the architect or architectural firm with their ideas and to
discuss the details. A contract is drawn up and an agreement is made. Architect
fees differ for every project since every project is different. Some require more work
than others which requires more the architects time. Some architects have hourly or
daily charges as well. The fee is a quoted percentage of the total construction cost.
They agree on a lump sum which is based on anticipated work involved and the
amount of time the project will take. The initial design is 25% of the total cost,
developed design is 25%, detail design is 25%, and the construction cost is 25% of

the total cost. After all the fees are agreed upon the client and architect will meet
again so that the client can discuss requirements and aspirations of the project. The
client also advises the architect of their budget so that the architect doesnt go
over. The architect then analyzes the requirements and presents the initial design
proposals. By this time the project is more developed. How the structure will be built
and how renewable energy sources are integrated into the building is planned at
this point. The architect prepares more drawings for the client and once the client is
happy with the developed design the architect will proceed to producing full
construction drawings called site works. Once the fully developed design is down,
the architect prepares a Form of Tender for the contractor. It is best to have at least
three contractors (tenders) for the project. The reason they choose between a few
contractors is because different contractors do different quality of work and give
different cost quotes. The architect will look at the contractors past work and costs
and that will help them determine who would be the most cost efficient and best for
the job. Once the contractor is picked, the construction begins. During this period,
the architect will periodically inspect the building. Payments by the client start
during this period as well. Once the construction is done, part of the payment is
help for up to twelve months and is only paid out upon the architects instruction.
Many architects are trying to make buildings more efficient using Passive
House or LEED. Passive House is a term that refers to a rigorous, voluntary standard
for energy efficiency in a building that reduces its ecological footprint. This results in
ultra-low energy using building that require little energy for space heating and
cooling. To achieve certification, buildings must have a space heat demand of <15
kWh/m2a) and a building air tightness of <0.6/h. When trying to reduce heat and
cool air from escaping, super insulation, advanced window technology, airtightness,
ventilation, space heating, lighting (LEDs) and electrical appliances are used. LEED
stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is a rating system
that is recognized as the international mark of excellence for green building in 150
countries. LEED is an environmental performance of buildings, homes, and many
other types of constructions. It is used to increase the amount of sustainable
buildings in America. When LEED first came about the people who ran it realized
that very few buildings in America were sustainable but in the last ten years it has
increased significantly. LEED isnt really focused on energy performance but rather

on the materials used. Because the materials used in a project can affect it through
heat and cool air escaping. LEED is used so much around the world now, not just in
America. For example, China is very populated but they are building sustainable
buildings there now also.
The Shanghai Tower is a mega tall skyscraper in Lujazui, Pudong, Shanghai
and is designed by the American architectural firm Gensler with the help of a
Chinese architect, Jun Xia, who led the design team. The Shanghai Construction
Group won the bid to build the tower. This massive tower, which is owned by a
consortium of Chinese state-owned companies is the second tallest in the world.
The building is 632 meters (2,073 ft.) high and has 128 stories. The total floor area
is 380,000 m2 (4,090,000 sq. ft.). The Shanghai Tower was designed for high
efficiency and provides multiple separate zones for office, retail, and leisure use. A
Gensler spokesman described the tower as The greenest super high-rise building
on the earth at this point in time. The design of the towers glass faade, which
completes a 120 twist as it rises, is intended to reduce wind loads on the building
by 24%. This reduced the amount of construction material needed. The tower used
25% less structural steed than a conventional design of a similar height. As a result,
the buildings constructors saved an estimated $58 million US in material costs.
Construction practices were also optimized for sustainability. Though the majority of
the towers energy will be provided by conventional power systems, vertical-axis
wind turbines located near the top of the tower are capable of generating up to
350,000 kWh of supplementary electricity per year. The double layered insulating
glass faade was designed to reduce the need for indoor air conditioning, and is
composed of an advanced reinforced glass with high tolerance for shifts in
temperature. In addition, the buildings heating and cooling systems use
geothermal energy sources.
The Burj Khalifa is a supertall skyscraper in Dubai. Owings and Merrill (SOM)
were the structural engineers, whose firm designed the Willis Tower, often referred
to as Sears Tower in Chicago, and One World Trade Center. The contractors were
Samsugn C&T Corporation, Besix and Arabtec. The Burj Khalif is the tallest structure
in the world standing at 829.8 meters (2,722 ft.) and has 163 stories.

The Burj Al Arab is a hotel, also located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is
the third tallest hotel in the world; however, 39% of its total height is made up of
uncopiable space. The shape of the structure is designed to mimic the sail of a sail
boat. It has a helipad near the roof at the height of 210m (689 ft.) above ground.
The architect was Tom Wright, who has since become cofounder of WKK Architects.
The design and construction was managed by Canadian engineer Rick Gregory of
WS Atkins. The hotel was build by South African construction contractor, Murry &
Roberts and Al Habtoor Engineering The decisions to build these buildings in Dubai
is based on the governments decision to diversify from an oil-based economy to
tourism and for Dubai to gain international recognition.
The CCTV Headquarters is a tower that serves as headquarters for China
Central Television (CCTV) in Begin, China. The architectural firms that designed this
building are Office for Metropolitan Architecture and East China Architectural Design
& Research Institute. The developer was China Central Television and the structural
engineer was Ove Arup & Partners. The contractor was China State Construction
and Engineering Corporation. It is a 234 m high, 44 story, three dimensional
skyscrapers. Two towers rise from a common production plat form and are joined
together by a cantilevering bridge.
In conclusion, architecture has changed a lot over time but the architecture of
the past still influences architects today. The history of architecture is what really
inspires current day architects to think outside the box and come up with new
designs. Passive House and LEED is what buildings need to meet current day
standards. Buildings are where people not only work but live their lives and since
much of our lives are spent in buildings we should use Passive House and LEED to
help with sustainability and make them more green and earth friendly. Architecture
is something we all work together to make better and architects try to pass on their
legacies and ideas to the next generation through their designs and building
projects.