Why classical architecture? most of my client's has their own reason why they love classical (european) architecture, maybe could be as simple as, it's classic, which means the design will always looks beautiful years to come. It took years for them to invest time and money, and surely hoping that the building itself will stand beautifully years to come, even generations. That's why I respect classical design and continue to learn the genre.
I'm stunned by many attempt to create classical architecture in Jakarta failed (in my humble opinion) to deliver the design that shows the true beauty of classical architecture. Later I found that the problem is all about the lack of understanding the basic design concept. Many people love the appearance of the design and decorative aspects from the building, but actually the way they (used to) build the architecture that make the classical design stands out.
Before even the designer start to sketch he/she must learn the history (!) of the ancient way to build a house or building especially in Europe (first Italy and the French). The more they understand the basic thinking, or at least I say, design approach, the better the design will be.
...but not all classical design is the same
Of course we are not making period architecture. We are living in modern times so there will be some modern influence here and there, but the question is more into how we mixed both ideas and to make it as coherent as possible. So everything back to understanding what is the main key factors that makes the classical building..'classic' and what is modern architecture.
Classic vs Modern
While the real debate we should leave it the academic world, I have my own thinking about the main difference between those genres. Before I go to details, I believe that the architecture, a house in particular, is a direct symbolism of the social construct, or in other words, the way of living for certain people of person will also affect the way they build their 'architecture'.
As said, we are now live in democratic and openness to express our ideas and choose our path in life. So modern building, is symbolized these belief. Modern building are open, light, expressive, playful, or even in other contrast, minimal, cold, flat. Either you go extrovert design or introvert, both shows the 'true expression'. Trueness, is the key word. In daily life, I can say like we wear our weekend apparel, jeans, T-shirts, or other informal playful or sexy way to show what we feel or the mood of the occasion. Modern architecture is show the same principal, informal and clear statement.
The classical design in other spectrum. Formality and Symmetry are the main factor why the classical design is so elegant.
How To Create Great Classical Design
First thing, knowledge.
Designing classical architecture means try to recreate design style which triumph in Europe and later America, long time ago. So understanding the basic concept thinking and how to build the house in period time is crucial.
The structural work is very important. The beautiful Corinthians column are basically, a decorative structural column. The way stone stacked together, the key stone on the window, the thickness of the wall, the pitched roof angle are the main factor that we have to consider from the start. If the design start from the knowledge of how to erect a building using old master technique, the result will show a great it is.
...and the Form
Formality, Symmetry, Hierarchy and Facade treatment must consistently applied on each project. The elegance appears if these 'rules' become the main consideration in design process.
Those are the design approach that separate classical architecture and modern design.
How about modern classic?