Architecture is part art and part science. In school, the architect learns about the art of architecture, about making buildings and spaces aesthetically pleasing by applying time-tested theories of artistic design. The architectural student also learns the science of architecture that allows them to design a structure that will resist the many forces that are constantly trying to make it fall down. In practice, the architect also has to understand and take into consideration the many code and legal issues that affect design.
The architect learns how to create three-dimensional space and forms that not only protects occupants from the elements, but space that can evoke emotion – the “art” part of architecture. Like any kind of art, music, etc., there are certain intangible elements that an architect has been trained to nurture and develop and to apply almost instinctively. The skills and services that a trained architect provides are more than just “drawing up a plan”. The good architect listens to their client’s list of wants and wishes, and works with them to translate that laundry list into three dimensional forms and spaces that provide for their needs and at the same time endeavors to make the most of the design opportunity by designing spaces that are more than just a floor, four walls and a roof. The good architect wants to design spaces and forms that enhance the lives of the people that use those spaces and view those forms he has created.
The real value that is created by the good architect is more than the monetary value that is added to property as a consequence of the design that they have developed. Anyone can add a box to an existing house and call it a bedroom. The architect has the training and experience to transform that box into something special – something to be experienced. The end result is a space and form that has an intrinsic value that is more than the cost of the materials and labor that go into constructing it – more than just so many dollars per square foot.
This value is realized by the inhabitants that experience it every day when they wake up and look out at the misty morning from their bedroom window; enjoy the beautiful view of the water from just about every room in their house; watch the shadows move across the cathedral ceiling; find efficiency when they put the dishes away; or enjoy the summer sunset as they eat their dinner with family and friends on their covered patio.