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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Architecture Quotes

Here's a short collection of famous lines by Architects and non-Architects pertaining to Architecture:


Man, there’s another freedom out there, and it comes from somewhere else, and that somewhere else is the place I’m interested in. (on using a grid)
Frank Gehry

The scary cousin in architecture’s dysfunctional family (on Frank Gehry)
Zev Borrow

When a building is as good as that one, f#*@ the art. (On Gehry's Bilbao Guggenheim as a place to experience art)
Philip Johnson

Ram-shack-le /'ram-shak-el/ adj. : Pertaining to a certain order of architecture, otherwise known as Normal American. Most of the public buildings of the United States are of the Ramshackle order, though some of our earlier architects preferred the Ironic. Recent additions to the White House in Washington are Theo-Doric, the ecclesiastic order of the Dorians. They are exceedingly fine and cost one hundred dollars a brick.
Ambrose Bierce

Architecture is the art of how to waste space.
Philip Johnson

Noble life demands a noble architecture for noble uses of noble men. Lack of culture means what it has always meant: ignoble civilization and therefore imminent downfall.
Frank Lloyd Wright Lloyd Wright

Among the planets of the arts, architecture is the dark side of the moon.
Bruno Zevi

Ignorance transcends architecture.
James Gaskin

When does a building actually become a built?
Le Corbusier

ar-chi-tect \är-ke-,tekt\ n. One who believes that conception comes before erection.
Rob Daly

We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us.
Sir Winston Churchill

Light, God’s eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.
Thomas Fuller

All architects want to live beyond their deaths.
Philip Johnson

I don’t think of form as a kind of architecture. The architecture is the result of the forming. It is the kinesthetic and visual sense of position and wholeness that puts the thing into the realm of art.
Roy Lichtenstein

Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, Are merely shadows cast by outward things On stone or canvas, having in themselves No separate existence. Architecture, Existing in itself, and not in seeming A something it is not, surpasses them As substance shadow.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The architect represents neither a Dionysian nor an Apollinian condition: here it is the mighty act of will, the will which moves mountains, the intoxication of the strong will, which demands artistic expression. The most powerful men have always inspired the architects; the architect has always been influenced by power.
Friedrich Nietzsche

No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect. If he is not a sculptor or painter, he can only be a builder.
John Ruskin

No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple.
John Ruskin

Heredity is a strong factor, even in architecture. Necessity first mothered invention. Now invention has little ones of her own, and they look just like grandma.
E.B.White

Form ever follows function.
Louis Henry Sullivan

Less is more.
Mies

Less is a bore.
Robert Venturi

Less is more work.
Patric McCue

True, there are architects so called in this country, and I have heard of one at least possessed with the idea of making architectural ornaments have a core of truth, a necessity, and hence a beauty, as if it were a revelation to him. All very well perhaps from his point of view, but only a little better than the common dilettantism.
Henry David Thoreau

The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright

All fine architectural values are human vales, else not valuable.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Architecture is "frozen music"… Really there is something in this; the tone of mind produced by architecture approaches the effect of music."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Where do architects and designers get their ideas? The answer, of course, is mainly from other architects and designers, so is it mere casuistry to distinguish between tradition and plagiarism?
Nancy Banks-Smith

Use your eyes; plagiarize.(On borrowing design strategies from other cultures.)
Steven Ehrlich

Architecture is easy: you just stare at the paper until droplets of blood appear on your forehead.
Unknown

You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe: when it knocked down our buildings it did not replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that.
Charles, Prince of Wales

But what if we are dealing with fools? (On design juries)
Mies

Commodity, firmness, delight...
Vitruvius

All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) American architect.

Architecture is a continuing dialogue between generations which creates an environment across time.
Vincent Scully

Why can't we have those curves and arches that express feeling in design? What is wrong with them? Why has everything got to be vertical, straight, unbending, only at right angles - and functional?
Charles, Prince of Wales

To be an architect is to possess an individual voice speaking a generally understood language of form.
Robert A. M. Stern

In architecture the pride of man, his triumph over gravitation, his will to power, assume a visible form. Architecture is a sort of oratory of power by means of forms.
Friedrich Nietzsche

The materials of city planning are sky, space, trees, steel and cement in that order and in that hierarchy.
Le Corbusier

Buildings should be good neighbours.
Paul Thiry

Pictures deface walls oftener than they decorate them.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Life is rich, always changing, always challenging, and we architects have the task of transmitting into wood, concrete, glass and steel, of transforming human aspirations into habitable and meaningful space.
Arthur Erickson

A building is a string of events belonging together.
Chris Fawcett

Good architecture is like a piece of beautifully composed music crystallized in space that elevates our spirits beyond the limitation of time.
Tao Ho

Architecture (is) a theatre stage setting where the leading actors are the people, and to dramatically direct the dialogue between these people and space is the technique of designing.
Kisho Kurokawa

Perspective is worth 80 I.Q. points.
Alan Kay

Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.
Mies van der Rohe

When you look on one of your contemporary 'good copies' of historical remains, ask yourself the question: Not what style, but in what civilization is this building? And the absurdity, vulgarity, anachronism and solecism of the modern structure will be revealed to you in a most startling fashion.
Louis H. Sullivan

Light, God's eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.
Thomas Fuller

Architecture is inhabited sculpture.
Constantin Brancusi

The flowering of geometry.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Society needs a good image of itself. That is the job of the architect.
Walter Gropius

Architecture begins when you place two bricks carefully together.
Mies van der Rohe

The reality of the building does not consist in the roof and walls, but in the space within to be lived in.
Lao-Tzu

Good architecture lets nature in.
Mario Pei

Architecture should be dedicated to keeping the outside out and the inside in.
Leonard Baskin

Early in life I had to choose between arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose honest arrogance and have seen no occasion to change.
Frank Lloyd Wright

No house should ever be on a hill, or on anything. It should be of the hill. Hill and house should live together, each the happier for the other.
Frank Lloyd Wright

How can we expect our students to become bold and fearless in thought and action if we encase them in sentimental shrines feigning a culture which has long since disappeared?
Walter Gropius

The house does not frame the view: it projects the beholder into it.
Harwell Hamilton Harris

Architecture is space structured to serve man and to move him.
Etienne Gaboury

Take nothing for granted as beautiful or ugly, but take every building to pieces, and challenge every feature. Learn to distinguish the curious from the beautiful. Get the habit of analysis - analysis will in time enable synthesis to become your habit of mind. 'Think simples' as my old master used to say - meaning to reduce the whole of its parts into the simplest terms, getting back to first principles.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context - a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan.
Eero Saarinen

In speculative buildings, which is most of our business, there are really only three chances to make architecture: the lobby or entrance sequence, the top and the elevator cab.
Chao-Ming Wu

A house is a machine for living.
Buckminster Fuller

A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Genius is personal, decided by fate, but it expresses itself by means of system. There is no work of art without system.
Le Corbusier

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
Winston Churchill

I call architecture 'petrified music'.
Goethe

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