Elements of Architectural Design: Technical
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Once we isolate the elements of architecture and take time to see how they work in composition, we begin to see that the merit of a building's design is determined by the skill and creativity of both architects and builders. The Technical Properties describe such things as the architect's creativity and the extent of his or her design skills. Creativity is innate, however, through training and experience, architects learn to use space wisely and to choose constriction materials that offer artistic yet comfortable living spaces.

We look carefully at the construction materials used in a building. Each has a different property, or effect peculiar to its medium. For instance, glass allows light to illuminate a structure, and architects use this medium to create bright, sunny areas; however, there are times when glass allows too much light to enter a structure, and another choice must be made. American architect, Walter Netsch was faced with such a choice when asked to design a library for rare books at Yale University. The client wanted outside light to enter the building, however he feared that direct sunlight would ruin the books. Walter Netsch decided not to use glass for this library, choosing in its place, thin, translucent sheets of marble for the walls. The aesthetic effect of light filtered through the warm mottled marble is quite spectacular.

The final impact of architecture, however is determined by the skill of the various contractors who actually build the building. Architects must rely on a builder's ability to follow the design plans, and often, the craftsmanship of individual workmen determines the quality of the final product.