“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us” -Winston Churchill
Institutions and the buildings that house them are formed through a cycle of reciprocal influence, in which each alters the other. The process of design refines and sharpens perceptions of the institution as well as the proposed facility, and the process of living in the completed space alters, in many ways, the functioning and experience of the institution. The designer interrogates the institution and catalogs the needs, but he also ideally brings the experience of other institutions and places to expand the possibilities for the institution’s new home.
Whether it is through the image presented to the public, common spaces that foster interaction, or simply the light and air of a particular space, an institutional or commercial building can profoundly affect us- we live much of our lives in these places. Making buildings that enrich instead of impoverishing that part of life is a large part of what architects can contribute to the institutions that engage them.