Architecture can be defined as "the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses seen in light" (Conway and Roenisch 9). In other words, it is an experience that is emotional and artistic. Some people agree that architecture is the amalgamation of building and art. However, many do not agree with this opinion (Conway and Roenisch 9). According to Britannica Encyclopedia, architecture is "the art and technique of designing and building" ("architecture") whose practice "is employed to fulfill both practical and expressive requirements, and thus it serves both utilitarian and aesthetic ends" ("architecture"). Therefore, every society has a spatial connection to the natural world. The sort of architecture and the produced structures reflects history, culture, environment, traditions, ceremonies, customs and artistic sensibility of a society ("architecture").
Buildings keep people warm and dry and are directly involved in the reasonableness and feasibility of living. On the other hand, if paid attention, architecture has an artistic element to it at all times. Archaeologists are particularly interested in buildings as they reflect so many aspects of life, people and society (Ballantyne 2).
The way buildings are planned, organized and structured reveals the way people intermingle in them. Moreover, the material used for the construction of buildings and also the manner in which the used material is handled also uncovers a lot about the society. For instance, if the stone is used in a building, it tells that an efficient transport system was used to carry the stone or the stones were really unique to be brought from faraway places. Buildings with steel frame signify that they belong to the modern age as there was no concept of using steel in construction in the ancient times (Ballantyne 2).
Buildings also tell a great deal about what took place in the ancient societies and also reveal that what society really cares about in the present times. If a society allows the construction of motorways transversely to the countryside, it crystal clearly signifies that the people do not care for the countryside more than they care about their convenience in travelling. However, individuals could have dissimilar decisions (Ballantyne 3).
The role of architecture is a significant one in the progress and development of society as the architects "design buildings with an eye not only to their practical utility, but also with an eye to their cultural value, trying to give them a shape that is in some way appropriate" (Ballantyne 22). However, the appropriateness of building is different in unlike circumstances. The suitability and aptness of buildings also depends on the type of surrounding buildings, method of construction, and their roles. A particular type of building might suit suburbs but would not be appropriate for a city centre (Ballantyne 22).
Thus, the architecture and architects have a social responsibility to the community when they build a piece of architecture. The contemporary age demands sustainable designs to eradicate or lessen the negative environmental impact of the built environment and to bond the community with the natural environment. Architecture is significant for a society because not only it creates better places but even play a major role in making a place cultured, elegant and urbane by making a society more fit for human habitation.
In the nineteenth century, the architects have found themselves in a world that is restructures by scientific and industrial advancements. A modern architect is pressed by the needs of the contemporary society that places steel, reinforced concrete, and electricity as new procedural resources his disposal. This is the reason why the society today is being greatly affected by the modern style of architecture. The architects spent decades assimilating and experimenting with different styles to produce an astounding range of bold, innovative and unique buildings. Though the historical architectural work has affected the worldwide societies in an astonishing manner but today the thin line between architecture and engineering has vanished. The architecture today is an amalgamation of art and engineering. Airplane hangars, for instance, display a beauty of architecture that is undeniable. If a look is taken at post modern architecture, one can observe that the technical innovations of modernism are exploited and extended to the fullest. Moreover, architects today now integrate stylistic elements from other architectural styles or periods on an international level ("architecture").
The People's Republic of China is a great example as the country has demonstrated a rigid speed of development during the last ten years. First class cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou have been restructured, modernized and developed to the highest standards. On the other hand, secondary cities have not been ignored and are also in the progress of development. The restructuring and remodeling of these cities means that they will become well-known in the future due to the advanced and rapid progress. China has accomplished a lot in the recent years when it comes to infrastructure and building. It is evident in the fact that even "the farmlands outside Harbin have been transformed into one of the dozens of insta-cities" (Larmer). Moreover, the Harbin Wood Sculpture Museum in Beijing is another architectural fantasy that the country has to offer (Larmer) along with the China Central Television Tower which is, without a doubt, an icon of modern architecture in the contemporary cultural capital of China. The astonishing fact is that the city a simple ancient historical site two decades ago. However, the combination of art, creativity and building has made the place an attractive one and this factor surely reflects the progress of the Chinese society.
Other than that, the National Stadium, known as the Bird's Nest and Shanghai Tower, the 2nd tallest building in the world truly reveal how concerned is China about architecture and its anticipated advantages for the progression of the country. Chinese are now designing office towers, housing societies, hospitals and shopping malls as they know that this would ultimately result in the advancement of their cultured society (Larmer). According to Gillen, a famous architect living and working in China, "China is a place where things get built" (as qtd. In Larmer ).
The good news is that the architects today make use of the approach of "Environmentally Sustainable Architecture" ("Green Architecture" or "Green Building") to architectural design. This approach puts its emphasis on the location of buildings within both local ecosystems and the overall environment. This sustainable architecture aims towards minimizing the negative environmental impact o buildings by improving effectiveness and control in the material and energy utilization and development space.
It is often said that the buildings reflect the civilization of any area as they mirror the strength, character, force and genuineness of society at the time they were constructed. Just as China, the traditional builders of the Iran of the modern day have constructed buildings in the desert regions of the country according to the particular climatic conditions present there. It is not an untold secret that the ancient people did not have access to modern heating and cooling apparatus. Therefore, the architects of the past times had to depend on natural energies to make the internal sites of the buildings pleasant. However, the sustainable architecture in the Iranian land has now made such solutions available that are tailored with environments potentials such as the wind catcher systems (Aryan, Ehsan, Amin, and Masoud).
It is exceedingly important to remember that whatever is built today will remain for a very long time. Architecture is, in fact, done to show commitment to a place. It is all about conserving and extending the culture. It is about the building of a place and about the approach the generations work collaboratively in the fullness of time to give a deeper meaning to the places. It is an undeniable fact that the value of the culture lies in…