I believe that architecture is a pragmatic art. To become art it must be built on a foundation of necessity.
A man doesn’t borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn’t borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window and stairway to express it.
There is an effective strategy open to architects. Whereas doctors deal with the interior organisms of man, architects deal with the exterior organisms of man. Architects might join with one another to carry on their work in laboratories as do doctors in anticipatory medicine.
After 1980, you never heard reference to space again. Surface, the most convincing evidence of the descent into materialism, became the focus of design. Space disappeared.
We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the building we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness.
Bad architecture is in the end as much a failure of psychology as of design. It is an example expressed through materials of the same tendencies which in other domains will lead us to marry the wrong people, choose inappropriate jobs and book unsuccessful holidays: the tendency not to understand who we are and what will satisfy us.
Eiffel saw his Tower in the form of a serious object, rational, useful; men return it to him in the form of a great baroque dream which quite naturally touches on the borders of the irrational … architecture is always dream and function, expression of a utopia and instrument of a convenience.
More even than the work of the great architects, I loved buildings that grew silently with the centuries, catching and keeping the best of each generation, while time curbed the artist’s pride and the Philistine’s vulgarity, and repaired the clumsiness of the dull workman.
Honestly, the only question most Americans ask about a new building at this point is basically: Is it a soul-sucking eyesore of cheap-ass despair? It’s not? Whew.
The structures were austere and simple, until one looked at them and realized what work, what complexity of method, what tension of thought had achieved the simplicity.