With design constantly evolving and creative boundaries pushed, the Architrends blog wonders: What is it that inspires architects to take up and continue the craft? Here are some examples from industry professionals who shared their opinions.
Inspiration from location
Integrated Designs & Associates talks about how the building’s physical environment sets the tone for many designs.
Of course, the environment surrounding the design location is an important factor in the final design. While it would look out of place to build a skyscraper in the middle of a rural town, instead, the architect may take a look at the buildings around the area and take inspiration from their shapes, size, roof type or materials, to design something that will fit in but still have originality. Although one of the main benefits of using an architect is to come up with a new and innovative design, it still needs to fit in with the surrounding location – the results being the perfect combination of old and new.
A look to history
History of the site location can also play a role in architectural inspiration. Designers can create spaces that serve the context of the community while determining how the past can play a role in modern architecture. Per The Architect’s Newspaper’s In praise of precedent: How do architects use history for inspiration? article,
For architect Elizabeth Roberts of the eponymous Brooklyn-based Elizabeth Roberts Architecture, an interest in history led her to complete a master’s in historic preservation before starting her own firm that focuses on renovations and additions to existing buildings that, in her words, “breathe new life into historic buildings.” Yet despite her “love for historic buildings,” she explained, she also believes in “authenticity” – that additions should appear “different” from the original structure while still “respecting their original massing, details, and materials.”
Serving the community
Faith-based buildings are a big part of FGM Architects’ business, and the firm cites the service to the community as an inspiration. Serving the building occupants in a meaningful way by bringing them together and presenting an experience of divinity is a main point of inspiration.
It is certainly a humbling challenge and privilege to work on church projects. Even in the modern era where religious buildings have perhaps become more casual and practical on average, there will always be a core mission of the architecture to serve and help foster community and meaningful experiences for those who attend. And the modern realities of how churches function only solicit an ever-expanding creativity in what is built. Modern church bodies do much more than just meet in a worship space on Sunday mornings, also serving countless community-building, educational, and outreach functions.
As the old saying goes, inspiration comes in many forms. Collaboration, effect on the emotions and experiences of others, and making the world a better place are among the top reasons architects at the AIA Orlando conference give for pursuing architecture, shown in this short video by National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.