Sample Essay on Originality and Architecture

According to Bruce Goff (1968), architecture is a powerful art. Its kind and its originality have been a challenge to many architects when actually nothing in art is completely original with its creator since inspiration is influenced by past and present. This limits and eventually alters artistic value. Truly original work is a result of ordered ideas that are natural and involving imagination, initiatives, courage, and a balance of feeling and reason. When these are wrapped with a dedication to individual work, originality naturally comes. This is because much of the artistic works are not personal invention as most of the sources are unknown.

Inspired by many things, past and present, imitating, but eventually assimilating them, kimihiko Okada, architect of the Toda house, through his familiarization and experience of working for Ryue Nishizawa heightened a sense of possibilities (James, 2014). Ryue Nishizawa is also an architect who worked on what influence art and space have on the contemporary architectural design process. Thus, relation of experimental tendency is initiated in Toda house, which is besides, an adventurous notion of a house that floats in the mid air. Much of what Kimihiko worked with was not of his own invention but reinvented them to become his individual and original works.

The Toda house is high up in the air on a cluster of slender guide and appears over the heads of its neighbors in suburban Hiroshima. Quotidian activities are staged in a continuous loop of space that winds gently upwards to culminate in a roof terrace with a commanding ship’s bridge panorama of its surroundings. The liberated terrain at ground level becomes a precious garden, implanted with both local trees and an artificial glade of slim metal columns. An entrance staircase brings you up from the garden to the first-floor entrance hall, and from there space gradually unspools upwards in a gentle, almost cinematic sweep. As you walk upwards, more close views of the house itself teases you and beguiles you by constantly changing views, both out to the wider world, as well as near view.

Individual functions are denoted by subtle changes in level and different floor finishes − carpet for the bedrooms, bamboo for the kitchen and parquet for the living room. Okada claims “if you are constantly circulating, it instills feelings of spatial generosity and richness compared with a more conventional square plan” (James, 2014). Clearly, to inhabit such an eccentric set of spaces on a day-to-day basis makes some demands of the occupants, who obviously appear perfectly content with the outcome. The jury was also persuaded ultimately of the scheme’s thoughtfulness in reworking the idea of the suburban ‘house on a plot’ into an uplifting (both physically and metaphorically) meditation on the changing and fluid nature of contemporary domestic life.

The Toda House


According to Mondal (2015), a space architect in Zingy homes, the dilemma between originality and creativity through familiarization arises in architecture when for instance space architects around the world are working on designing space habitats. However, this is challenged by the need to create habitability without affecting survival and allow one to lead a normal life in extreme conditions. Since some space architects rely on 3-D printing technologies for building, challenges exist in terms of transportation, operation, and maintenance of these machines in space.

Nonetheless, each of architects’ works must eventually show architects originality since the subject must be portrayed in his works to personal style and form. More so, with new materials, methods, needs and increased technological knowledge, newly beautiful design- structures are expected to be produced and thus architect need not to fear originality but thrive on.



Goff, Bruce. (1968). Originality and Architecture. Retrieved from

James, Jesse. (2014). Originality in Architecture: The Toda House by Kimihiko Okada. Stupid Dope. accessed on February 9th 2017.

Mondal, Rohit. (2015). The Dilemma Between Originality and Creativity through Familiarization in Architecture. Zingyhomes. Accessed on February 9th 2017

Stein, Amelia. (2015). Does Architecture need to be Original? The Guardian. Accessed on February 9th 2017