Architectural Structure and What You Need to Know

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Architectural structure is a very important concept in the field of architecture and construction. It plays a crucial role in the design and construction of architectural works, ensuring safety, durability, and structural stability of the entire construction. Architectural structure also influences the form, function, and aesthetics of the structure, contributing to the beauty and uniqueness of the construction.

In this article, we will answer the question “what is architectural structure,” its role in architecture, as well as the factors influencing the selection and design of structures. Additionally, we will explore common building materials, development trends, and the relationship between architectural structure and sustainability.

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What is Architectural Structure?

Structure is a key element in constructing any civil or architectural work. It serves as the framework and bears the primary load of the structure. Architectural structure consists of various components combined to form the framework of a structure such as beams, columns, foundations, floors, walls, etc. Common materials used in architectural structures today include: Reinforced concrete, wood, bricks, stones, steel… These are materials with solid properties, ensuring quality and high aesthetics, thus widely used.

The Role of Structure in Architecture

Ensuring Safety and Durability for the Construction

Architectural structure plays a crucial role in ensuring safety and durability for the entire construction. It must withstand loads such as gravity, wind, earthquakes, and other external impacts, while distributing and safely transmitting these forces to the foundation. An appropriate structural design will enhance the durability and reliability of the structure, protecting the safety of its users.

Creating Form and Functionality for the Construction

Architectural structure not only ensures safety and durability but also directly influences the form and functionality of the structure. Different structural solutions will create different shapes, spaces, and functions for the construction. Architects need to balance technical requirements with aesthetics, creating structures that are both safe, efficient in use, and visually appealing and unique in form.

Expressing Architectural Style

Architectural structure also contributes to expressing the architectural style, trends, and ideas of each era. New structural materials, techniques, and technologies always accompany architectural development. Creative approaches to structure have opened up many new design possibilities, creating unique and iconic structures.

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Classification of Architectural Structure

Architectural structures can be classified according to various criteria, such as:

Classification by Material

  • Brick and stone structure
  • Reinforced concrete structure
  • Steel structure
  • Wooden structure
  • Composite structure

Classification by Shape

  • Frame structure
  • Plate, shell structure
  • Grid structure
  • Arch, dome structure

Classification by Function

  • Main load-bearing structure (columns, beams, floors, …)
  • Auxiliary structure (walls, staircases, roofs, …)
  • Foundation structure

Classification by Construction Technology

  • Traditional structure
  • Industrialized, modernized structure

This classification helps us better understand the characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, and scope of application of each type of structure, thereby choosing the appropriate solution for each specific project.

Main Factors Influencing the Selection of Architectural Structure

When selecting a structural solution for an architectural project, several important factors need to be considered, including:

Nature of the Building

  • Scale, height, floor area
  • Function (residential, office, industrial,…)
  • Space requirements, flexibility
  • Longevity and sustainability

Natural Conditions and Environment

  • Geological and topographical conditions
  • Climate conditions (wind, earthquakes, humidity,…)
  • Environmental impacts (pollution, corrosion,…)

Economic Factors

  • Initial construction costs
  • Operating, maintenance, and repair costs
  • Economic efficiency during usage

Requirements for Construction and Technology

  • Construction and installation capability
  • Availability and application of new technologies
  • Accuracy requirements, construction time

Social and Cultural Factors

  • Local architectural styles, traditions
  • Meaning, symbolism of the structure
  • Compatibility with the landscape, surrounding space

Careful consideration of these factors will help architects choose the optimal structural solution that best meets design objectives.

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Principles of Architectural Structural Design

When conducting structural design, the following basic principles should be adhered to:

Ensuring Safety and Reliability

Structural design must ensure absolute safety for users, prevent risks such as collapse, settlement, subsidence, and breakage… Structural calculations and analyses need to be carefully conducted to meet current safety standards.

Optimizing Loads and Stresses

Structures need to be designed to optimize the distribution and transmission of loads (gravity, wind, earthquakes…) and ensure stresses within the allowable limits of materials. This helps minimize material waste and construction costs.

Ensuring Flexibility and Adaptability

Structures must be able to adapt to changes in function, configuration, or external impacts during usage. The use of flexible, load-bearing systems with good deformation capabilities enhances the sustainability of the structure.

Economic Optimization

In addition to meeting technical requirements, structures need to be designed to have the lowest possible construction and operation costs, ensuring economic efficiency for the entire project.

Aesthetic Requirements

Structures must not only meet technical criteria but also contribute to the beauty and aesthetics of the building. Architects need to strike a balance between technical requirements and aesthetics in structural design.

Common Building Materials in Structure

Architectural structures can be made from various materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some common building materials in structure include:

Brick, Stone

Brick and stone are traditional materials widely used in architectural structures, especially for historical and traditional buildings. They provide durability, aesthetics, and are suitable for various architectural styles.

Reinforced Concrete

Reinforced concrete is the most common material in modern construction. It combines the strength of concrete and the tensile strength of steel, creating strong, versatile structural elements widely used in construction.


Steel structures offer advantages in terms of high load-bearing capacity, lightweight, and high flexibility. They are suitable for structures with large spaces and complex structures.


Wood is a traditional material, providing warmth and friendliness to architectural spaces. Wooden structures are often used for small buildings, residential houses, or buildings with classic styles.

Composite Materials

The current trend is to use composite materials, combining the advantages of various materials such as reinforced concrete with wood, steel, or composite materials. This optimizes the features of the structure.

Sustainability in Architectural Structure

Sustainability in architectural structural design is an essential factor, especially in the context of increasingly scarce natural resources and environmental pollution. To ensure sustainability, architectural structures need to adhere to the following principles:

Material Usage Optimization

Selecting materials sourced from recycling, reusing, and with regenerative capabilities to minimize environmental impact and resource consumption.

Energy Efficiency

Designing structures for optimal energy efficiency, utilizing energy-saving solutions such as insulation systems, harnessing natural light…

Reuse and Recycle Capability

Considering structural designs with the ability to be reused, relocated, or recycled after they are no longer needed to minimize waste and environmental pollution.

Determining the Lifespan of the Structure

Providing design solutions so that the structure can exist and serve its purpose for an extended period without requiring significant changes.

Adaptability to Climate Change

Architectural structures need to be adaptable to climate change, minimizing the impact of natural disasters and catastrophes.

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Sustainability is not only a trend in the architecture industry but also the responsibility of every architect and designer. Integrating sustainable solutions into structural design helps protect the environment, resources, and build a sustainable future for future generations.

These are the things you need to know to answer the question “what is architectural structure.” Understanding these aspects will help architects build quality, safe, efficient, and sustainable structures. Applying this knowledge and principles in structural design is not only a task but also the responsibility of creators, contributing to the development of the architecture and construction industry. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Tay Au Landscape for advice!

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