(pronounced dih-FENT-sihv AR-keh-tek-chur)
It’s sad that we have this term because it means that we still have something to defend ourselves against. The concept, however, is as old as time: think The Great Wall of China and impenetrable castles with eight-foot walls, moats and drawbridges. Even though today we defend ourselves against domestic criminals and foreign terrorists instead of Barbarians and Mongols, the idea remains. Much defensive architecture takes place on a municipality’s urban planning level, taking into consideration lighting, sight lines, and paths of travel when planning out parks and public spaces. The next step occurs when designing the structures themselves, thinking through myriad security issues such as preventing unwanted guests from accessing – physically and/or visually – certain portions of a building or complex of buildings. On the interior, concepts such as bullet-proof glass, wall partitions taken to the deck, and thumbprint security access systems come into play.