Understanding and Appreciating Architecture By Dr. S.S Bhatti

understanding and appreciating architecture
understanding and appreciating architecture


Architecture fulfils one of the three basic human needs, SHELTER; the other two

are: FOOD and CLOTHING. Shelter has preceded Architecture by many centuries as

the Art and Science of making “The Objective Outer World of Matter”. In other words,

Man set foot on the road to civilisation when he stepped out of the cave to make his

own Shelter with his own hands. That is reason enough to say that “architecture is

the matrix of civilisation”.


    SPACE, Structure and Form, which function in tandem with each other in the mind-boggling Unity and Diversity of whatever Humans create.

  • In Building Design, Space pertains to Architecture; Structure to Engineering; and Form to Aesthetics.
  • SPACE in ARCHITECTURE is enclosed vacuity, with STRUCTURE intervening between it and the enclosing envelope called FORM.
  • It is akin to the Human Body in which Skeleton is the Structure that creates Space for accommodating vital physiological functions—and intervenes between Form [flesh and skin] and the Space.
  • Space is akin to Soul; Structure to Mind; and Form to Body.
  • Aesthetic Appreciation and Artistic Creation are two complementary activities of the same human Mind.
  • Man, having been created by GOD in His own image, is essentially an Artist who started his forays into Creativity by wondering at the beauty and bounty of Nature, which is God’s manifest power [Qudrat is the word that Guru Nanak has used for it in Gurbani].
  • The word ‘Man’ is not a gender; it represents a human person, and thus includes both the sexes.
  • The beginning of his journey in the realm of Artistic Creation lay in the exercise of Man’s native ability [that is, God-gifted, not culturally acquired] of Aesthetic Appreciation.
  • Aesthetic Appreciation takes place by means of one or more of the Five Senses: Seeing, Hearing, Touching,

Smelling, and Tasting.

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About the Author

Dr SS Bhatti, an alumnus of Sir J J College of Architecture in Bombay (1955-60), took over the reins of Chandigarh College of Architecture in April 1982, and earned his first doctorate on “CHANDIGARH and the Context of Le Corbusier’s ‘Statute of Land’: A Study of Plan, Action, and Reality” in 1991. This work won him the 5th JIIA [Journal of the Indian Institute of Architects] National Award for Excellence in Architecture (research category) in 1993.