An architectural concept is the meaning and reason to the end product (the completed building or structure) and is the very first part of the design process to be developed and realized much like a seed is to plant. And just like a plant seed it can come from a vast array of sources, and produce a huge amount of variations and outcomes. It is also the one of the only consistent element that follows a project from beginning to end and remains as important at the start as it is at the finish. An architectural concept can be described as an: idea, notion, opinion, abstraction, philosophy, belief, inspiration, thought, intention, theory, image, plan, or hypothesis.
Form refers to the shape or configuration of a building. Form and its opposite, space, constitute primary elements of architecture. The reciprocal relationship is essential, given the intention of architecture to provide internal sheltered space for human occupation.
Why generate a concept?
A strong architecture concept gives the architect / designer a clear direction and framework when making design decisions; it provides a methodology to the thinking process by offering a type of rule book.
When there is a question to be answered or a decision to be made, the concept is consulted and used to direct methods of thinking to provide a solution within its own parameters to maintain the clarity of the design intent. This stops the architect from branching off into never-ending directions and tangents, that will only hinder and water down the architectures legitimacy.