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Architectural Building for All the Senses: Bringing Space to Life

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

Image Credit: © Kuco | Dreamstime

All too often, architectural designs rely more heavily on just one primary sense – the visual one. The other senses are unfortunately frequently neglected. This is unfortunate since it is through the senses that architecture can have profound effect. For instance, architectural building can more truly relate to the surrounding culture through all of the senses. Addressing historic, traditional or present-day cultural patterns can make a work of architecture a success when the senses are not ignored.

The architect must act as a composer that orchestrates space into a synchronization for function and beauty through the senses – and how the human body engages space is of prime importance. As the human body moves, sees, smells, touches, hears and even tastes within a space – the architecture comes to life.

The rhythm of an architecture can be felt by occupants as a result of the architect’s composition – or arrangement of all the sensorial qualities of space. By arranging spatial sensorial features, an architect can lead occupants through the functional and aesthetic rhythms of a created place. Architectural building for all the senses can serve to move occupants – elevating their experience.

Architectural space is about layering for all of the senses. Like a musical composition, spatial features come together into a symphony for occupants to experience. Bringing a space to life means that architectural function and form is not just primarily for the visual sense. By engaging all of the senses, form and function may be more fully expressed so occupants can have deeper, more meaningful moments – feeling the bouquet of their surroundings in all of its dimensions.

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what members are saying...
Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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