I was on a quest, not any old journey, but an epic excursion!
The quest for the perfect scent. Ok, maybe too dramatic, but what can I say, finding a good cologne can be a challenge. So I enlisted the help of an engineer friend of mine and we started the task of evaluating different fragrance samples… maybe I was taking this too seriously, lol.
How does this relate to buildings?
Good question. You see Architects are trained to think about more than walls and roofs, we think about your EXPERIENCE when using the building.
Smell is a big part of the architecture experience!
Think about the last restaurant you walked past. Did the savory aroma of the cuisine reach you while you were still on the sidewalk? Whenever I eat at an Indian spot I know the delicious smells of palak paneer and naan add to the experience. Believe it or not, designers think about how to use smell in their design, cool eh?
Even in buildings that aren’t restaurants smell is important. There is one hotel I love going to because of how great it smells. The soap has a white tea-vanilla thing going on and the lobby is great. I found out that the hotel has its very own signature scent that they diffuse in their buildings.
Materials also have aromas that can add to the essence of a place.
Think about how a building with exposed concrete floors and exposed pine may smell, maybe natural, maybe earthy & fresh.
When designing I like to think of how to minimize bad and toxic smells and how to incorporate pleasant subtle scents (or no scent, depending on the client). This type of thinking helps with the selection of materials and finishes. Why? Because smell is a big part of the architecture experience, so let’s embrace the good!