Conceptual architecture  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Conceptual architecture is a term used to describe certain buildings and practices that make use of conceptualism in architecture. Conceptual architecture is characterized by an introduction of ideas or concepts from outside of architecture often as a means of expanding the discipline of architecture. This produces an essentially different kind of building than one produced by the widely held 'architect as a master-builder' model, in which craft and construction are the guiding principles. The finished building as product is less important in conceptual architecture, than the ideas guiding them, ideas represented primarily by texts, diagrams, or art installations. Architects that work in this vein are Diller + Scofidio, Bernard Tschumi, Peter Eisenman and Rem Koolhaas.

Conceptual architecture was studied in the essay, Notes on Conceptual Architecture: Towards a Definition by Peter Eisenman in 1970, and again by the Harvard Design Magazine in Fall of 2003 and Winter 2004, by a series of articles under the heading Architecture as Conceptual Art. But the understanding of design as a construction of a concept was understood by many modernist architects as well. To quote Louis Kahn on Frank Lloyd Wright:

It doesn't work, it doesn't have to work. Wright had the shape conceived long before he knew what was going into it. I claim that is where architecture starts, with the concept.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Conceptual architecture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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