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Humanities I
You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and
with these materials you build houses and
palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at
But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me
good, I am happy and I say: This is beautiful.
That is architecture. Art enters in.
- Le Corbusier
What is Architecture?
The art of designing and
constructing a building which will
serve a definite function, ranging
from providing the simplest
shelter to meeting the
technological demands of our
modern cities.
Construction Principles
1. Post-and-lintel
The oldest of the construction
Makes use of two vertical supports
(posts) spanned by a horizontal beam
Most of our houses are built on this
2. Arch
Consists of separate pieces of
wedge-shaped blocks, called
voussoirs, arranged in a
The keystone, which is the last
stone set at top center, locks
the pieces together into a
single curved structure
3. Truss
A system of triangular forms
assembled into a rigid framework
and functioning like a beam or
This is employed in bridges,
assembly plants, theaters,
gymnasiums, and halls where
wide spaces must be spanned
with very few interior supports
Makes use of a beam or slab
extending horizontally into
space beyond its supporting
post, yet strong enough to
support walls and floor.
5. Skeletal construction
Employs reinforced concrete and
Concrete construction makes use
of concrete poured, while still in
its semi-fluid state, into a hollow
Compression vs. Tension
Structural materials must be strong enough to
resist such forces as compression and tension.
Some materials can support heavy weights
without crumbling or breaking down; they are
said to have compressive strength.
Others, on the other hand, can be pulled or
stretched without breaking; they are said to
have tensile strength.
Materials with
Compressive Strength
Materials with
Tensile Strength
Stone Steel
Reinforced Concrete
One of the most commonly used materials for
Wooden beams are used to hold up the roof or
support the upper floors
Plywood sheets, apparently strong despite their
thinness and light weight, are used for ceiling and
wall panels
The houses exterior can be made of wood too,
and painted over to withstand the elements
Spotting Good Architecture
1. Function
Refers to how a building is used
Whether a building is used as a house, a store,
a school, or a museum, it must accommodate
practical requirements for every purpose
within its walls
A building without function may be beautiful,
but its a sculpture, not architecture.
2. Structure
Refers to how a building stands up.
Whether it consists of steel columns, wooden
beams, or brick walls, the framework must:
resist gravity
resist the weight/load placed upon it
However, to be architecture, it must create
beauty from structural necessity

3. Beauty
Refers to the visual and sensory appeal of
buildings DELIGHT
Architectural delight can be found in a neatly
patterned brick wall, a vaulted stone ceiling,
or a tiny window emitting a stream of sunlight
Beauty is the ultimate test of good
Without beauty, a highly functional building is
merely utilitarian
In comparison
Identify if this Building is a