What is beauty and what does it involve? How to identify beauty in architecture? Why do certain architectural trends arise with such a feature? New disciplines, neuroaesthetics and neuroarchitecture are striving to explain these issues.
The philosophical questions like ‘What is beauty? and “How do styles and trends appear?’ have generated new scientific disciplines – neuroaesthetics and neuroarchitecture. Neurons in the human brain are responsible for the reasons why people feel the beauty and for the indicators of beauty for them. Neuroaesthetics arose on the summit of aesthetics and neurophysiology. In 2016 Johns Hopkins founded the first medical institute for neuroaesthetics. Neurophysiologists explore processes of how our brain perceives the world with the help of our senses. Neuroethics are trying to find the answer to the question of how beauty affects our health, happiness and well-being.
In the first half of the 20th century, scientists made a discovery: the human brain responds positively to the shape of a square and a rectangle and perceive all other forms as an ideal square or rectangle. It has had an impact on architectural styles. The Renaissance architecture is associated with calmness and harmony. Such an effect was achieved through the domination of square and rectangular forms and with the help of straight angles, round arches, symmetric elements. The architecture of Baroque is the opposite: stormy, chaotic, with escalating of anxiety and fear. Such impressions are achieved due to incorrect square shapes, elliptical arches, sharp angles, and asymmetries. Neuroarchitecture have come up with such an explanation: a person feels calmness in the symmetry, equal square and rectangular forms. Conversely, “imperfection” causes anxiety.
Neuroaesthetics and neuroarchitectors have suggested that architecture and design of the environment play a crucial role in people’s well-being. The architectural environment, space and entourage, elements and materials affect our physical and psychological health. Researches on brain have shown that architecture affects primarily our state of health, and, consequently, social status. For example, monotonous, monochrome rectangular buildings cause discomfort, and, according to neurologists, provoke aggression and crime.
Modern architecture is international, intermedial, and interstylish. It is a mixture of deconstructivism and expression, avant-garde and experimentation. The combination of the tradition of a certain culture, both its authenticity and the innovative elements, is naturally used. The culture of every nation draws its notion of beautiful nature, from the environment. Architects understand that cultural values provide the building with the construction of sacred content.
Here are some examples of combining tradition and modernity in beautiful architectural projects:
TBC Forum (Georgia)
In this office center architects have united cultural features of Georgia and modern architectural elements.
The Lotus Building (China)
The cultural center was built in the form of three giant lotus buds. This flower has long been sacred in Chinese culture.
Institut du monde arabe (France)
The main architectural idea is to deepen the understanding of Arab culture, since there are many representatives of this culture in France. The traditional motives of the Arabian ornament and elements of the France are combined in the style of this building.
King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station (Saudi Arabia)
As the architect of a project, Zaha Hadid, admits, the creation of a gold metro station in Saudi Arabia was found on her inspiration by the nature of this country. The smooth contours of the building resemble dunes, which are associated with this country.
Surround yourself with beautiful architecture and be healthy!