What Is Conceptual Architecture?

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  • Written By: Eugene P.
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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Conceptual architecture refers to the design,‭ ‬construction and function of a structure based on abstracted ideas or concepts.‭ ‬Unlike traditional architectural design, which seeks to fulfill a specific role,‭ ‬conceptual architecture attempts to present an idea to viewers both inside and outside the building created.‭ ‬The concept around which the building is designed can be anything from environmental efficiency to an‭ ‬aesthetic statement.‭ ‬Structures that are conceptual often have a unique appearance in contrast to the surrounding landscape.

Conceptual building design usually begins with a consultation involving a number of sources.‭ ‬The owner of the space,‭ ‬the community and even city planners might all provide input to the architect during the design phase.‭ ‬This collection of limitations and requests allows the architect to work within a framework.‭ The architect draws up one or more conceptual designs and one is chosen for construction.

The exterior of the structure can be extremely unique,‭ ‬sometimes employing custom construction techniques to achieve the correct appearance.‭ ‬Some buildings can be made to appear to defy gravity or resemble smaller geometric shapes.‭ ‬The appearance is meant to express the concept that has been agreed upon.‭ ‬The‭ ‬outside of a building is sometimes of little concern and might be just a container or the result of the interior layout.


Conceptual architecture can‭ ‬be very concerned about the interior of the structure, as well.‭ ‬Some architects go to great lengths to track the movement of the sun through a space so they will know how a room will appear at any given point in the day.‭ ‬Concepts of open space and human psychology are frequently employed so rooms and areas convey a specific feeling to the viewer.

Through the use of art installations,‭ ‬land installations and other fixtures, entire spaces can be manipulated beyond their original boundaries.‭ ‬Interiors for these types of buildings often can share more in common with conceptual art than with interior design.‭ ‬Not all conceptual buildings necessarily have interiors that are as creative as their exteriors.‭ ‬The reverse also is true.

Functionality is not always a consideration with conceptual architecture.‭ ‬There are structures that are purely aesthetic,‭ ‬although they can be used for some functions.‭ ‬There are other buildings that are conceptual architecture within the infrastructure only,‭ ‬usually to promote new environmental technologies.‭ ‬Finally,‭ ‬there are many buildings in the world that are completely usable commercial spaces yet also express a wholly‭ ‬individual concept.


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