The dream of the architect, oil on canvas, 1840. Works of Thomas Cole (Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo (Ohio) USA). 
The dream of the architect, oil on canvas, 1840. Works of Thomas Cole (Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo (Ohio) USA).

'Architecture' comes from the Greek '(arch), meaning "head \ a, who's in charge", and "(Tekton), ie" builder or carpenter. Thus for the ancient Greeks, the architect is the chief or director of construction and architecture is the art or the art of who makes the project and directs the construction of buildings and structures, since for the ancient Greeks, the word Τεχνη (techne) means knowing to do something. From it come the words "Technical" and "Tectonic" (Constructivism). In its broadest sense, William Morris gave the following definition:

The architecture includes the consideration of the whole atmosphere surrounding the physical life human: we can not escape it while part of the civilization, because architecture is the set of modifications and alterations made in the earth's surface in order to meet human needs , excepting only the pure wilderness. "(The Prospects of Architecture in Civilization, lecture delivered at the London Institution on March 10 of 1881 and compiled in the book On Art and Socialism, London, 1947.)

Taking into account the opinion of the architect Bruno Zevi:

The architecture is not derived from a sum of lengths, widths and heights of building elements that surround the space, but derives itself from the vacuum of space involved, the interior space in which men live and move. "(Saber ver architecture, Barcelona, 1948.)

The Eiffel Tower at dawn. Photo taken from the Trocadéro.

The Eiffel Tower at dawn. Photo taken from the Trocadero.

In essence what it tells us that architecture is not based on the construction itself but rather in the gaps and the alignment of these through the interpretation of themselves to live with humans.

The professional practice of architecture

  St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, viewed from the dome of the Basilica. 
St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, viewed from the dome of the Basilica.

Traditionally, architecture has been considered one of the Seven Arts. Certain buildings or other structures are works of art as they can be considered primarily in terms of its form or structure of their sensitive or aesthetics. From this point of view, although the means of architecture may consist of walls, columns, floors, ceilings and other building elements, their aim is to create meaningful spaces where people can develop all kinds of activities. It is in this "making sense" which can be distinguished in the architecture (as art) the mere construction. This is how it is capable of conditioning the behavior of man in space, both physically and emotionally. Although today is often seen as the main activity of the architecture is aimed at designing spaces for the shelter room (the house), only from the nineteenth century architects began to worry about the problem of shelter, livability and the hygiene of housing, and expand its scope beyond the monuments and buildings representative.

Brandenburg Gate, displays of Neoclassicism.
Brandenburg Gate, displays of Neoclassicism.

The trend towards specialization and the separation of fields of work is similar to other professions. In past centuries the architects were busy designing not only buildings but also designing plazas, malls and parks, specialization is now known as exterior or landscaping. The expertise of architects in creating objects for use in buildings, such as furniture, has resulted in the birth of the profession of industrial design. Today, the professionals who designed and planned development of urban systems are the planners. City planners are architects specializing in urban design professionals, other professionals exist to support the creation of the city as geographers, sociologists, engineers, lawyers specialized in issues related to graduate programs in the city, whether management, planning or urban design.

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