a little architecture talk :)

by simplysteffy

The great Vitruvius stressed the importance of the following principles in architecture: Beauty, Utility and Strength.

For our little essay, our professor asked us to add one more principle to the Vitruvian Triad to make it a Quad. I like to call it the Steffy’s Quad (hehe) and I choose to add the principle of efficiency.

Between an architect who designs a mansion that is worth 20 Million Pesos and another who achieves a similar effect for 15 Million Pesos, many will probably give quick credit to the second architect. However, the wiser observer would take a look first at the materials and workmanship before making his judgment and when he discovers that the second house his substandard in terms of quality, then for him, the second architect isn’t any better than the first. Reducing the cost but compromising quality is not what’s being suggested here.

Efficiency in architecture is achieving a desired result using the least amount of resources without compromising quality, safety, comfort and performance. Of course, there will be a series of checks and balances to go through, and this is not going to be an easy task. Even though efficiency can imply many things, it just boils down to being resourceful. Every unwise decision that an architect makes has a corresponding wasted resource/s – money, time, space, even safety and comfort. We do not want our architects to continue designing structures that will result in a wasteful and extravagant consumption of resources – and we know how relevant this is in these modern times. We do not really want to design in haste without giving the project more thought than it deserves. Designing thoughtfully can have a positive ripple effect just like any other decision that we make..but for this principle of efficiency to be meaningful to any architect, he should have a genuine concern for the welfare of others, and not just his own.

Efficiency is a humble principle since its rewards are not immediately obvious, but humble doesn’t make it least; in fact its greatness lies in the fact that it benefits all..even the environment. Creation itself has countless remarkable examples of designing with this principle. Creation doesn’t just demonstrate Beauty, Utility and Strength..but Efficiency too, and we should follow! : )