The power of architecture to bring joy and delight,
Social media and smart technologies have facilitated an unprecedented barrage of dialogue to inform us of turbulent events from around the world.
For the most part, knowledge is useful and developmental;
It can help facilitate change, or generate empathy by allowing us to understand the plight of others.
However, the inevitable immersion in the spiraling news cycle is increasingly overwhelming,
as the endless flow of bad news seems to outweigh the positive and overwhelm us with pessimism.
As global societies navigate ongoing health and environmental crises,
architecture’s ability to evoke joy and lift spirits has never been more important.
The power of architecture to bring joy and delight
So a whole new category was introduced for the 10th anniversary edition of Architizer’s annual A+ Awards program: Architecture + Joy.
Represented by open projects of all styles, this category celebrates projects that bring joy to its users,
be it through form, colour, program and social impact.
Architects are problem solvers through trade, and although architecture is unlikely to solve all of the world’s problems,
designers hold a unique position in society.
Their work has the potential to affect and be affected, and the way people think,
feel and act can be greatly influenced by the environment in which we find ourselves.
The power of architecture to bring joy and delight
The pandemic has generated numerous studies proving the impact of humankind’s ecological environment on our general well-being,
with all the research that has been done, our understanding of how spaces make us more nuanced.
The beauty of architecture is that it can affect us on multiple levels, for example,
the way we move from one place to another, the effect of a building facade as we walk,
how the acoustics in a room can make us feel calm or anxious, the way we love or We hate an entire city because we were raised as children.
This study of the interrelationship between humans and their surroundings,
to see how the body and brain respond to and shape the built environment, is extensive and informative.
And if we learn to harness this potential, there is an opportunity to bring more positivity into the world.
That user-centred engineering is not a trend, a method, or a methodology,
it is a solution-based approach that can be used to improve the relationship between people and build around them.
With that in mind, how can architects use their platform to create positive spaces
that ensure our surroundings lift us emotionally when everything seems so bleak?
There is no universal reaction to individual space,
so a one-size-fits-all approach to user-centered engineering is not the answer.
As the name suggests, architects must consider demographics along
with the local area to determine how the building can improve the lives of the people who will reside in the space.
And it’s not just about aesthetics, it’s about how the space looks and how it functions during its lifetime,
which can bring positivity and joy to its environment.
Amos Rex Museum in Helsinki
It is an underground museum that has gained worldwide fame since it opened in 2018.
It is primarily a downtown museum,
with the public spaces hosting many exhibitions and much like a typical downtown museum.
However JKMM Architects took the opportunity to develop the urban landscape with their proposal,
large concrete domes containing skylights for the galleries below were built, and the architects formed the domes at street level to create a playful urban park and transitional space.
By simply thinking about how their project affected the wider audience for the en
tire community, they not only created a unique museum, but also changed how people use the land above.
Social interaction and fun resonate throughout the once passive and memorable area.
Likewise, by considering the socio-economic situation of where a project is built,
architects can personally influence the lives of individuals in the area.
It is a historic port in the Persian Gulf in Iran, where colorful and surreal landscapes surround the island,
but the locals struggle economically.
The presence in Hormuz is a series of tourism developments
envisioned to empower the local community on the island.
The architects chose to add to the visual landscape as well as support the local economy and merchants.
Many domes were built, a form familiar to the locals, and the project used traditional techniques
and materials that did not require import from elsewhere.
In addition, they have allocated much of their budget to paying workers rather than buying materials,
so that money can then be returned to society to benefit all Iranians in the region.
Thus architecture can be used as a tool to bring joy and improve life,
it is to understand the needs of a branch of society.
You have to go beyond the aesthetic and go deeper to find and bring more joy into its construction
In doing so, thoughtful design will be able to bring people together and bring more happiness
into the lives of those who visit or live alongside the design.