"Architecture" can mean:
- A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.
- The art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structures.
- The style and method of design and construction of buildings and other physical structures.
- The practice of the architect, where architecture means the offering or rendering of professional services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments.
- The design activity of the architect, from the macro-level (urban design, landscape architecture) to the micro-level (construction details and furniture).
- The term "architecture" has been adopted to describe the activity of designing any kind of system, and is commonly used in describing information technology.
In relation to buildings, architecture has to do with the planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, environmental, and aesthetic considerations. It requires the creative manipulation and coordination of material, technology, light and shadow. Architecture also encompasses the pragmatic aspects of realizing buildings and structures, including scheduling, cost estimating and construction administration. As documentation produced by architects, typically drawings, plans and technical specifications, architecture defines the structure and/or behavior of a building or any other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.