Building Timeless Designs

What makes good or timeless? To be so, it must answer some major questions.

It was Vitruvius, the famed ancient Roman architect, that said ‘a well building hath three conditions: firmness, commodity and delight’. Its meaning might be a bit lost down the ages, but its relevance still stands. The best of modern buildings must, of course, be solid and sturdy, but also easy on the eye. It is these principles that a good architect must keep in mind when looking to the future.

What impact will it have on the environment?
Looking good is great, but it should ideally be good for the environment too. Green architecture is a principle that can help keep buildings more in sync with the environment, right from addressing concerns over long-term life cycle costs and the use of eco-friendly design elements among others. Besides being more economical, it also helps offer a positive long-term vision of a society that is leaving behind something for future generations by way of a cleaner and healthier environment. After all, we are not just living for ourselves. So, green practices are being seen as a way to improve the environment and strengthen the economy by cutting down the need for fossil fuels by design exponents across the world.

Does it over deliver?
Good architects deliver exactly what the client and the public wants. Great architects, on the other thing, will deliver something that people didn’t even realize that they wanted, but can’t do without. To do so is especially important when architects are tasked with erecting structures in much-loved, iconic areas. Buildings born of this ideology provide users with an experience that is unparalleled. They have to not only look good and make the visitor feel good, but also need to deliver against stringent performance norms and operational standards. If done right, we will no longer have mere buildings or landscapes. Rather, buildings become part of the landscape and the landscape itself becomes spectacular and iconic.

Does it stand the test of time?
A good design is that which suits the time, space and context it was framed for, but great and truly timeless design ages gracefully and transcends the time and space it was created for. By creating a harmonious balance between function and aesthetics, a distinctive personality, and meticulous attention to detail, a design can go a long way towards becoming timeless.

Timeless design is neither avant garde nor opulent. In fact, it eschews trends and instead opts for the quietly understated, simple and sophisticated. While being highly functional, it is not bland in the slightest. In essence, the most timeless of styles belong to both its space and its environment.

(source: The Economic Times)

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