From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
 This page Building is part of the architecture series.   Photo: western face of the Parthenon
This page Building is part of the architecture series.
Photo: western face of the Parthenon
Cenotaph for Newton (1784) by French architect Étienne-Louis Boullée
Cenotaph for Newton (1784) by French architect Étienne-Louis Boullée
Ars Memoriae by Robert Fludd
Ars Memoriae by Robert Fludd

Related e



A building is a man-made structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place. Buildings come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and functions, and have been adapted throughout history for a wide number of factors, from building materials available, to weather conditions, to land prices, ground conditions, specific uses and aesthetic reasons. To better understand the term building compare the list of nonbuilding structures.

Buildings serve several needs of society – primarily as shelter from weather, security, living space, privacy, to store belongings, and to comfortably live and work. A building as a shelter represents a physical division of the human habitat (a place of comfort and safety) and the outside (a place that at times may be harsh and harmful).

Ever since the first cave paintings, buildings have also become objects or canvasess of artistic expression. In recent years, interest in sustainable planning and building practices has also become an intentional part of the design process of many new buildings.

Criteria for being a building

A building is defined as any human-made structure used or interface for supporting or sheltering any use or continuous occupancy. In order to qualify for this list, a structure must:

  • be a recognisable building;
  • incorporate features of building work from the claimed date to at least 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) in height;
  • be largely complete or include building work to this height for most of its perimeter.
  • contain an enclosed area with at least one entry point.

This deliberately excludes ruins of limited height and statues. The list also excludes:

  • dolmens, a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone. Dolmens were typically covered with earth or smaller stones to form a tumulus (which are included in the list). In many instances, that covering has weathered away, leaving only the stone "skeleton" of the burial mound intact. Neolithic dolmens are extremely numerous, with over 1,000 reported from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany alone.
  • cairns, which are simply large piles of loose stones (as opposed to chambered cairns)
  • standing stone rings, such as Stonehenge, also do not count because they are not enclosed and do not have roofs.

Dates for many of the oldest structures have been arrived at by radiocarbon dating and should be considered approximate.

See also

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

Personal tools