Integrated Architecture

The term integrated architecture is defined simply as integrating or assimilating separate parts in order to give a coherent, integrated whole. The theory behind Integrated Architecture isn’t just combining the architectural components of a structure into one, but the entire design team as well. If an architect integrates all the different architectural disciplines in his project, he is said to have accomplished “integrated architecture.”


One of the most prominent architects to work on integrated architecture is Frank Gehry. The first building that Gehry constructed was the Chrysler Building, and today there are many other examples of his successful designs. In the 1970s, however, the concept of integrated architecture was adopted by the architects who helped design the Los Angeles Memorial Center and the Staples Center. The result of their efforts was the construction of two skyscrapers which each had a purpose apart from being a blank canvas upon which to project concrete and steel.

Designs to Stand the Test of Time

The reason these architects got involved with this type of architecture framework was because they recognized that traditional building methods were putting an enormous amount of stress on the joints. Also, the way that the typical building was built was getting more obsolete. In the face of these problems, these architects saw an opportunity to use their design skills to solve some of these difficulties. By incorporating as many different types of styles and materials into their designs, these modern architects could take the typical architecture and give it a totally new twist from the prior reigning design, modular architecture. In turn, this new ‘built’ structure became the ultimate advertisement for the entire manufacturing industry since it was designed to stand the test of time.


In fact, the original Los Angeles Memorial Center was created using an integrated architecture framework. A series of glass and steel buildings rose gradually to fill an overall square shaped area. There were exhibits which showcased the various products made by companies throughout the world, as well as short lecture sessions on sustainability, environmentalism and political activism. This was designed to help people learn more about their carbon footprint, which has since risen dramatically.

Shorter Building Times

These types of buildings became a favorite of architects due to the fact that they could build them much faster than a regular building, and they could also be built at a lower cost. The main attraction was the fact that they didn’t have to use any particular building material. All that was required was for the industrial designers to work closely with a local manufacturer. The result was a structure that was sustainable, safe and resistant to harsh weather conditions. In addition, this flexibility was essential in the face of changing consumer preferences, such as environmentally friendly products. This helped to ensure that the company didn’t get left behind as new technologies and trends developed.

Industrial Designs Consider New Factors

Nowadays, industrial designers are often required to design structures that can withstand the effects of climate change, such as severe heat warnings, hurricanes, snow storms and more. In addition to helping businesses cope with disasters, they are required to design structures that are able to keep up with their rapidly increasing clientele. Due to this demand, there has been an increase in the number of architects specializing in sustainability issues. Many of these architects were formerly involved in urban planning and landscape architecture, while others studied engineering or environmental science. Some studied architecture, while others worked in the world of finance, consulting or the insurance industry.


One of the main features of integrated architecture is its reliance on local production. The primary reason why this is necessary is because local materials and designs can often be customized to the exact requirements of any given project. Not only do these structures require minimal maintenance, but they are highly efficient as well. Furthermore, they tend to be much more economical to run and maintain than structures that are not designed from scratch. Since the initial capital costs are lower, they have the ability to finance themselves over time, providing an excellent opportunity for any struggling business to become self-sufficient. Many large corporations throughout the world have chosen to implement some form of integrated architecture.

Commercial and Residential Architecture Alike

While the primary use of this type of structure is found in urban planning and the design of public spaces, it can also be utilized in the construction of residential structures. In fact, many homebuyers prefer to use an architect that specializes in incorporating this type of design into their homes. Some developers choose to build housing structures that utilize the most up-to-date technologies and incorporate sustainable aspects of integrated architecture. Even corporate structures are beginning to utilize these innovative practices. A good example of this is Whole House Water Care, a Phoenix, Arizona company that creates high-end systems for apartment and condominium owners that conserve water by using low-flow shower valves and high-efficiency faucets.