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How Does Art Enhance Architecture

Architecture is the art of designing buildings. These skill sets inhibited by the architects are distinguishable from those required for construction. The art behind architecture involves satisfying the functional and visual needs of the structure to meet the practical and aesthetical aspects. It is phenomenal to visualize how these virtues of art enhance architecture.

Image source: Istockphoto.com

Art on a canvas holds the artist’s soul, whereas architecture brings life to the soul in reality. The difference between art and architecture is how they defy functional needs. However, art can also find its place in architecture without interrupting its structural flow. Places where art becomes an ornamental or focal element, are also examples of art-enhancing architecture.

Even though the debate over architecture being art is never-ending, it’s inevitable to ignore the artistic aspects of architecture. Dive in as we understand the implementation of art in built spaces and how it enhances the architecture.

Art in architecture

Art and architecture are holistic processes. Artists in the past merged the art aspects of sculpturing and painting into architecture. The line of difference behind artwork being a structure and a built structure being the artwork almost faded. Whether architecture is art has been an ongoing discussion for decades.  

The art of architecture makes designs expressive. Artists treat architecture as a sculptural representation of structural needs. In scenarios, art can become a functional vehicle responsible for visual affinity. Thus architects use art to create a successful blend of aesthetics and functionality. 

Art as a visual component

Image source: Istockphoto.com

The philosophy behind architecture involves human, social, political, environmental, technical, and visual considerations. Establishing visual1 consideration among all the other aspects is relatively significant. These visual aspects control the reciprocation and realization of artistic essence in reality.

Both art and architecture use visual elements and follow design principles. Visual elements like line, shape, color, tone, texture, pattern, and form are the basics of any composition. Be it 2D or 3D. These elements establish balance and harmony in the designs. The composition also brings out the hierarchy and significance of architecture. 

Art being an expressive form, it attracts the viewers and holds a sense of authority. Once the visual connectivity between the structure and the viewer is established, relating to the structure becomes comfortable. These aspects of art enhance architecture. It optimizes the visual diversity and merges the building as a social and political representation.

Creates a sense of belonging

As humans, it’s natural to have an affinity for our social and cultural orientation. Architecture is vital in creating solid roots for any cultural practice as a visual tool. Every nook of a structure has a story to tell. These stories are foundations for future generations to understand the community’s social, cultural, and technical aspects.

Art in architecture depicts history. It relates with the viewer and resonates with the historical practices of the past. Designers often used art as a visual vehicle to store cultural and social practices. The built form and ornamentation depict stories to be remembered for a lifetime.

Sistine chapel : Image source – viator.com

Be roman, gothic, renaissance, or Indian architecture, authoritative buildings like basilicas, churches, and temples often hold fond memories of the past. The painting on the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, are pristine examples of how virtual depictions of pieces of art enhance architecture for decades. It’s spectacular we celebrate these buildings even after several centuries. 

Image source: Istockphoto.com

Similar examples of the visual authority of art over architecture are evident in the temples of Indian architecture. The merge is so subtle that the building holistically becomes a sculptural representation. The art represents the social and cultural impact the previous generations exhibited. These sculptures carved on the walls and facades of the temples and monuments tell stories of their beliefs and morals.

Antonio Gaudi’s Basílica de la Sagrada Família

Image source – archdaily.com

Examples of architectural practices where art-in-architecture would be Antonio Gaudi’s Basílica de la Sagrada Família in Barcelona. The structure is an impeccable example that merges the lines between art and architecture. The details of these facades hold stories that surpass centuries. The visual impact of art on its facade invites attention from tourists all over the globe. He is one of the pioneers in Art Noveau and Catalan Modernism style of architecture. 

Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center

Image source – archdaily.com

All myths about ornamentation as an artform were tarnished by contemporary architects. Zaha Hadid is one of them. Her work for Heydar Aliyev Center is an excellent example of art merging architecture in complete fluidity. The façade is a simple curved structure with reinforced concrete and steel frame structures. Using art forms derived from biomimicry are referrals for such a fluid design.

The Art of Successful Blending

Creating a successful amalgamation of art and architecture is vital. Only a creative blending that addresses functional and aesthetical needs can meet the requirements. Artworks can often become a highlighter and create authority over space. At times it’s necessary to understand the influence of such artworks to avoid them stealing the limelight from the built structure by itself.

However, there is a middle ground where architecture becomes an artform. These artforms become the sculptural representations of functional needs. It’s explicit about acknowledging how the virtues of art enhance architecture in all its phases. The essence of art allows viewers to visualize the built structure on a relatable scale and optimizes the visual experience for them. Be it any period; art has eventually become an inevitable accessory for any structural complex.

By Hajara Banu

Hajara Banu is a professional architect, content writer, and strategist. She is on her journey to share her love of architecture, design, and content creation. Besides writing, Hajara loves coffee and often experiments with cooking and organizing in her free time.

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