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Art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. The practice of architecture emphasizes spatial relationships, orientation, the support of activities to be carried out within a designed environment, and the arrangement and visual rhythm of structural elements, as opposed to the design of structural systems themselves (seecivil engineering). Appropriateness, uniqueness, a sensitive and innovative response to functional requirements, and a sense of place within its surrounding physical and social context distinguish a built environment as representative of a culture's architecture. See alsobuilding construction.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on architecture, visit Britannica.com.