As aesthetics concerns an appreciation of beauty, it is influenced by the subjective taste of an individual. Visual spaces and the aesthetics of a build is an emotive process, but the application of aesthetics to buildings is complicated by the physical requirements of the brief such as budget, regulations, climate, the weather, etc.
The building design process is also a complex one which involves taking a client’s requirements for a new or existing building and translating them into an agreed design that a contractor is then able to construct. This process involves numerous teams and staff each from different professions including architects, contractors, consultants, engineers and the client themselves.
It is clear the appearance of a building and good quality design, and adequate accompanying infrastructure can enhance spaces. Developments that meet the need and expectations of communities make them more likely to be welcomed, rather than resisted, by existing communities. However, our position is clear that quality of the build must not be sacrificed for aesthetic appeal and needs of the client. Projects work best when there is integration between the client, designers, contractors, surveyors and others involved in the building lifecycle.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), as the professional membership body driving excellence in architecture is best placed to comment on architecture, build aesthetics and design. It runs the annual RIBA Stirling Prize, awarded to buildings that show “high architectural standards and substantial contribution to the local environment”.
Separately, a co-funded report written by the RIBA and supported by the CIOB called, Client & Architect: developing the essential relationship details the opportunities to enhance the relationship between architects and clients as well as others in the supply chain.
The UK Government has also appointed an independent Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission to advise government on how to promote and increase the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods.