When hiring an architect and judging his work think about how it relates to other examples of great architectural mastery, such as the Taj Mahal, Chichen Itza, Brunelleschi’s top Honolulu architects Cathedral, the Empire State Building, etc. These buildings are everyday materials famous in the world because of how they evolved from their predecessors and how they relate to their environment. A great architect understands both how far architectural mastery has come since the pyramids, and how much he owes to them.
The architect is in charge of macro and minuscule details, from the fact that facade of a building fits into the rest of the urban landscape to the furniture used within the space. All buildings should follow three precepts delivered by Vitruvius, an ancient Roman who lived in the first century BCE and one of the first who wrote about architectural mastery. In his De Architectura he said that beauty, utility and durability are of primary importance for any building. Hundreds of years later, Leon Battista Alberti suggested that beauty correlates on to proportion, and that ornament can relate too. By the 19th century, Louis Sullivan, father of the skyscraper, said rather simply that “Form follows function. “
Architectural mastery is one of the only art forms that is aesthetic and functional. Like when you step foot into the Parthenon, not only are you struck by its ancient beauty, but you can imagine that within its walls of simplicity and strength there were once huge statues of gods and goddesses painted bright colors, with succulent animals cut open at their feet. The stoic nature of these old columns mirrored the balanced devout nature of its devotees.
Today architectural mastery works in a similar manner, except it has a few more resources up its sleeve. Take living room design, for example. When a restaurant designer wants to show his client what he’s worth, he incorporates different luxurious elements-silk, velvet, leather, marble, taffeta – which will convey to the lounge’s client what kind of place they’re in. If he’s designing a home in the contemporary style, he may repudiate a wide variety of elements and textures for one or two simple minimalist ones, such as wood and glass.
Ultimately, an architect is an artist and his chance to work within demands of functionality and many different mediums makes his profession quite distinct from that of a painter, sculptor, writer or musician. That’s why when choosing an architect, it’s important to examine his other work.