In the context of architecture, a concept is an idea, thinking, or notion that serves as the organizing principle and impetus for a design project. It becomes the driving force and defining characteristic of a project’s advancement and is routinely consulted at every step of its creation. Every architectural undertaking ought to start with a notion.

An architectural concept, which is the very first stage of the design process to be created and realized, much like a seed is to be planted, is the meaning and purpose of the finished result (the building or structure). It can also come from a wide variety of sources, like a plant seed, and yield a tremendous variety of variants and results.

Additionally, it is one of the few constant components that are present for the entirety of a project and is just as crucial at the beginning as it is at the end. An idea, notion, opinion, abstraction, philosophy, belief, inspiration, thought, intention, theory, image, plan, or hypothesis can all be used to define an architectural concept.

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Learn the steps involved in developing successful and meaningful design concepts, as well as the methods, tools, and procedures that support this process.

Despite this, an exemplary piece of architecture will almost always be deeply anchored in and related to its site and context; hence site analysis plays a significant part in the creation and development of architectural concepts. The design brief and building typology can then back and support this.

What and How do they Affect

The following design concepts will and should have an impact on the entire project:

  • Orientation, massing, form, apertures, height, and light on the outside and interior
  • The landscape, including its hard and soft surfaces, planting varieties, painting scale, and planting arrangement
  • Finishes: hues, designs, textures, and materials
  • Fixtures and fittings: type, design, size, quantity, and material
  • Light, hefty, conventional, modern, and vernacular structures
  • Materials: hues, hardness, brittleness, types, styles, regional sourcing, and vernaculars

Each component of a project should stem from and be motivated by an idea; this concept may apply to the entire project as a whole or to each component individually.

Why Create an Idea

A strong architecture idea offers a form of the rule book that serves as a methodology for the thought process, giving the architect and designer a clear direction and framework while making design decisions.

The idea is consulted and utilized to guide thinking when a query or decision has to be addressed in order to propose a solution within its own constraints and maintain the clarity of the design goal.

This prevents the architect from deviating in endless directions and tangents that only serve to undermine and weaken the credibility of the project. The power of a project’s concept and whether or not its clarity persisted and was maintained throughout determine if it is successful or average in academic and professional contexts.

The more coherent and pertinent an architectural design is, the more successful and fascinating it is, as it needs to be rooted in depth and meaning. The notion gives the design depth.

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