The Meaning in Architecture

How do man-made spaces address us?

Text: Zsófia Francsicsné Szántay

In the context of architecture, the concepts of meaning, interpretation, reading, as well as adjectives like signifying, iconic, symbolic and emblematic often appear as references to buildings and their spaces in professional discourses discussing architectural theory and design. This article surveys issues of architectural semantics, and, without ambitioning perfectionism, points out aspects, theories, dilemmas derived from textual sources that have occurred as highly exciting topics throughout the history of architecture, highlighting the linguistic-philosophical models in their background. Meanwhile, it shows how closely meaningfulness is associated with the simultaneously materialistic and spiritual construction, which is the very essence of architecture.