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View of Florence showing the dome, which dominates everything around it. It is octagonal in plan and ovoid in section. It has wide ribs rising to the apex with red tiles in between and a marble lantern on top.
Brunelleschi, in the building of the dome of Florence Cathedral in the early 15th-century, not only transformed the building and the city, but also the role and status of the architect.<ref>Museo Galileo, Museum and Institute of History and Science, The Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, (accessed 30 January 2013)</ref><ref>Giovanni Fanelli, Brunelleschi, Becocci, Florence (1980), Chapter: The Dome pp. 10-41.</ref>
Section of Brunelleschi's dome drawn by the architect Cigoli (c. 1600)

Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων arkhitekton "architect", from ἀρχι- "chief" and τέκτων "builder") is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings and other physical structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.

"Architecture" can mean:

  • A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.<ref name=OED/>
  • The art and science of designing buildings and (some) nonbuilding structures.<ref name=OED/>
  • The style of design and method of construction of buildings and other physical structures.<ref name=OED/>
  • The knowledge of art, science & technology and humanity.<ref name=OED/>
  • The practice of the architect, where architecture means offering or rendering professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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  • The design activity of the architect,<ref name=OED/> from the macro-level (urban design, landscape architecture) to the micro-level (construction details and furniture).

Architecture has to do with planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience to reflect functional, technical, social, environmental and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of materials and technology, and of light and shadow. Often, conflicting requirements must be resolved. The practice of Architecture also encompasses the pragmatic aspects of realizing buildings and structures, including scheduling, cost estimation and construction administration. Documentation produced by architects, typically drawings, plans and technical specifications, defines the structure and/or behavior of a building or other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.

The word "architecture" has also been adopted to describe other designed systems, especially in information technology.<ref name=OED>Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (1993), Oxford, ISBN 0 19 860575 7</ref>

Architecture sections
Intro  Theory of architecture  History  See also  Notes  References  External links  

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