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Exterior Design


Exterior design is the process of

designing the exterior of a

building. This includes the façade,

"skin", roof, and foundational

elements. While exterior design

can be just as creative and artistic

as interior, knowledge of structural

engineering is necessary. Exterior

design is usually performed by an

architect with help of civil and

structural engineers. 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.

Durability – a building should stand up robustly and remain in good condition.

Utility – it should be suitable for the purposes for which it is used.

Beauty – it should be aesthetically pleasing.

In architecture, the facade of a building is often the most important aspect from a design standpoint, as it sets the tone for the rest of the building. From the engineering perspective of a building, the facade is also of great importance due to its impact on energy efficiency. For historical facades, many local zoning regulations or other laws greatly restrict or even forbid their alteration.

Builders, musicians, writers, computer designers, network designers, and software developers all use the term architecture, as do others (ever hear of a food architect?), yet each produces different results. A building is very different from a symphony, but both have architecture. Further, all architects talk about beauty in their work and its results. A building architect might say that a building should provide an environment suitable for working or living and that it should be beautiful to behold; a musician that the music should be playable, with a discernible theme, and that it should be beautiful to the ear; a software architect that the system should be friendly and responsive to the user, maintainable, free of critical errors, easy to install, reliable, that it should communicate in standard ways with other systems, and that it, too, should be beautiful.

A contemporary architect might say that the object or system under construction must have the following characteristics.

  • It has the functionality required by the customer.

  • It is safely buildable on the required schedule.

  • It performs adequately.

  • It is reliable.

  • It is usable and safe to use.

  • It is secure.

  • It is affordable.

  • It conforms to legal standards.

  • It will outlast its predecessors and its competitors.

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