Art can re-awaken peoples’ senses. . It is a powerful means of presenting truths about humankind that cannot be expressed in any other way. Art also connects a society, potently presenting an idea that everyone can relate to in a universal way. The wakefulness that comes from art will only lead to a better society if people act upon these discoveries.

There are several steps involved before art could actually tame society for its betterment. First, the art must reach the public and the people must then appreciate the value of the art.

Art moreover fosters useful connections between the audience and society. Architecture, also considered partly science and partly art, may become the connector fusing them together by providing the common platform of integration. However the underlying concepts between both art and architecture are radically different. The aesthetic in architecture, in many ways, is not the guiding force. Even if the architect sets out to create a building that is so logically conceived, that it manages to marry both practical and an aesthetic consideration with ease, its primary concern is ultimately to create a sound shelter.

However, this does not in any way mean that the architect’s creative ability is suppressed when answering a brief and specification. The way the architect’s structure pulls together these aspects, like an orchestra’s conductor, goes far beyond a mere solution to a building problem at hand.

As Richard Meier, the internationally acclaimed European architect puts it “Architecture is art, every work is a work of art. Architecture is the greatest of the arts, and it encompasses thinking that other arts don’t even deal with. Like relationship of the work to the individual human being – the person who uses it; the person who experiences it; the person who sees it; and how the person perceives space. There’s an old adage that a sculptor can make a square wheel, and an architect has to make a round one. There is a certain responsibility not just to the client for whom the work is built, not just to the people using the building, but to the public at large with what is being done.

To the query, when does a building become art, Meier states “Well I don’t say all buildings are architecture ….. There are lots of buildings that have nothing to do with architecture. They have to do with economics. They have to do with an enclosure, but I wouldn’t consider them works of architecture. …… a work of architecture is a work of art.”

We have grown into the precious heritage of appreciation; music, paintings, sculpture and literature bring us real joy. Yet, there is this enormous source of artistic pleasure of which only too few are aware, which all too many of us daily pass by blindly, to be found in the buildings all round us.

Architecture of all the arts is the one most continually manifested before our eyes. Used as a medium to give all other forms of art, their pride of place, Architecture has immense potential to create pleasurable moments to our lives of constant hustle and bustle.

Peshali Perera