The Role of Structure in Shaping Architecture - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1205 Words
Date:  2022-08-29


Architectural work has undergone a revolution over the years. Structure and architecture have similarly shown increased evolution with the onset of technological advancement in modern architecture. The application of technology and modernization of building has subsequently improved the appearance of buildings resulting in a new generation of buildings (Taranath, 2016). Structure has however played a huge role in the change in the appearance and quality of buildings and therefore facilitating the transition in the architectural work.

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Adoption of architectural forms is based on various factors such as practice and ideology. However, structural support should be enhanced for a building to enhance the integrity of architecture and shape to the world. Structure plays a very important role in attaining the achievement of the objectives of architecture. The structural and non-structural parts of a building vary in different dimensions. Some building contains the elements enclosing the building such as roofs flours and walls as structural elements while other buildings with exterior walls with relatively large glazing areas have structures separated from the elements enclosing the space in the building (Sarkisian, 2016). Therefore, the structure of a building forms the skeleton on which other parts are attached and a foundational ground for architectural work. The core function of the architectural structure is forming the part that resists the load imposed.

Architects have widely deployed form in extending the tradition of architecture. The second world war impacted on the modernism of architectural development by mirroring the willingness to rebuilding the cultural building and facilitating an escape route from modernism. However, technology has advanced improved the structural position of architecture through the use of stronger material to the predecessors; for instance, the development of cable strayed bridges (Taranath, 2016). In addition to improvement of the form of the building, the superiority and stability of construction were enhanced with the technological advancement and critical thinking. Suspension bridges with streamlined box girder not only indicated superior performance but also subjected the suspension bridge to a slenderer era. Form in architecture plays a very important role which not only is limited to the shape and configuration of a building but may comprise of various elements such as a plane, lines, points and volume of the building (Sarkisian, 2016). In this case, the form may in the form of texture, images or text used in the design. The core foundation of form is however attributed to the structure of architecture. The physical appearance of any building is determined by the form adopted ranging from regular, irregular, mix of regular and irregular forms, forms inspired by nature and unusual forms.

Structural visual treatment may be subjected to variations which on the other hand point out on the structural prominence of architectural work. A building's structural system can bear great prominence and form an important architectural vocabulary. On the contrary, the presence of structure can be downplayed by structural elements and therefore contributing to a limited impact on the appearance of the building. Structure contributes to the visual representation of buildings regardless of its visibility by the volume it occupies which contributes to the visual character (Sarkisian, 2016). Buildings may be developed in accordance with the structure accepted approach which prioritizes the construction of a building whose importance is attached to the design aspects. Such buildings include the Greek antiquity temples, Roman basilicas, and the Gothic cathedrals. In the modern days, the Villa Savoye is a good example of this structural architecture (Sarkisian, 2016). However, one common feature of the buildings constructed under the structure accepted approach is the constitution of the prominent part of the visual vocabulary of the building. Structure rarely constitutes to the visual vocabulary's prominent parts.

On the contrary, structure symbolized approach to structure is termed as a set of decisions and visual motifs in relation to size, structural elements arrangement and shape which are influenced by the technical criteria in influencing the visual impact of the building. The steel reinforcement in the approaches mentioned above deployed in construction is entirely hidden and therefore impacted dismally on the visual representation of the building (Baldwinet al., 2014). The structure is not visible and for technical reasons encased in fireproof material. The acknowledgment of the structure was only identified in the architectural treatment which points out the distinction between the glass-clad framework and the visual vocabulary of the distinctive element of the aesthetic part. Timber truss also contributed to the effectiveness of deployment of hidden structure which entirely impacted no contribution in architecture. Timber structures were used in the interior of the buildings spanning the interior spaces but were hidden. However, the effectiveness of these structures relied on the timber truss technology. Timber was later replaced with iron then steel improving the stability and superiority of the long span roofs developed. For instance, London's Banqueting House has a roof spanning approximately 17 meters which were used to create a significantly large interior surface in buildings during the European Renaissance (Baldwinet al., 2014).

The structure may also have an impact on the form of the building regardless of its invisibility. In this case, the structural components of the building are hidden play a crucial role in influencing the architectural form of the building. This is referred to as an accepted structure. Accepted structure affects the form of the building in various ways. This includes enhancing strength, beauty, and performance. Hidden structures enhance the form of buildings by improving the appearance, strength, and performance. A wide range of structures can be defined by these factors which have a direct impact on the structure and stability in relation to the main role. Observing the proportions and dimensions of the structures stabilizes the buildings and therefore enhances the stability of the buildings. For instance, the pyramids form some of the oldest historical architectural buildings and are a symbol of sustainability and survival brought about by a hidden structure with influence to the form (Baldwinet al., 2014). The pyramid structure increases the stability and illuminates the architectural identity of the pyramids.


Structure is an essential part of the architecture. The role played by structure in construction has realized a wide range of improvements over the centuries. Reinforcement of structure has been realized from the use of timber which evolved to iron then later to steel through the application of critical thinking and technology. The most important fact is the contribution of structure in enhancing the beauty, stability, and performance of architectural work and therefore fundamentally bonding structure to architecture. Structure contributes to the various forms of architecture and therefore impacts on the visual representation of the building.

On the other hand, structure can be invisible and contribute minimally to the aesthetical value of buildings. The invisible structure can also have an impact on the aesthetical value of the building. Accepted structures are the hidden structures such as internal roofing which are invisible but contribute to the form of architecture. The contributions of structure in architecture are therefore directly or indirectly linked to its contribution to the final form of the architecture achieved.


Baldwin, C., MacCormack, A., & Rusnak, J. (2014). Hidden structure: Using network methods to map system architecture. Research Policy, 43(8), 1381-1397.

Sarkisian, M. (2016). Designing tall buildings: structure as architecture. Routledge.

Taranath, B. S. (2016). Structural analysis and design of tall buildings: Steel and composite construction. CRC press.

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