There was a time in our past when one could walk down any street and be surrounded by harmonious buildings. Such a street wasn't perfect, it wasn't necessarily even pretty, but it was alive. The old buildings smiled, while our new buildings are faceless. The old buildings sang, while the buildings of our age have no music in them.
Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.... for really new ideas of any kind--no matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to be--there is no leeway for such chancy trial, error and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction. Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.
I think green buildings are extremely important but it's only part of the equation. A lot of people think that if I put a green building everything is going to be fine, but actually it's not just the green buildings we need, but green businesses, green governments, green economics. We have to extend the greening of buildings to our business and our lifestyles - that is the most important thing to do next.
Layering and changeability: this is the key, the combination that is worked into most of my buildings. Occupying one of these buildings is like sailing a yacht; you modify and manipulate its form and skin according to seasonal conditions and natural elements, and work with these to maximize the performance of the building.
Everyone must be clear that business as usual is not an option. Most of us live in buildings erected long before we were born and our successors will have to live with the environmental consequences of the buildings we construct today. It is vital that we minimise harmful impacts for those who come after us
I graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in art. I was really headed toward an architecture degree, but when I did the requirements for the major, I realized I was more interested in how people live in buildings than in making buildings. I was more interested in the interactions that happened inside the structures.
Buildings are seldom just buildings in downtown Chicago, they are Examples, and not a city on Earth, I swear, is as knowledgeably preoccupied with architectural meaning. Where else would a department store include in its advertisements the name of the architect who created it, or a newspaper property section throw in a scholarly exposition of theoretical design?
Where can we find greater structural clarity than in the wooden buildings of the old. Where else can we find such unity of material, construction and form? Here the wisdom of whole generations is stored. What feelings for material and what power of expression there is in these buildings! What warmth and beauty they have! They seem to be echoes of old songs.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
He had been a boy who liked to draw, according to my friend, so he became an architect. Children who drew, I learned, became architects; I had thought they became painters. My friend explained that it was not proper to become a painter; it couldn't be done. I resigned myself to architecture school and a long life of drawing buildings. It was a pity, for I disliked buildings, considering them only a stiffer and more ample form of clothing, and no more important.
If there's a group like Amish people, that want to live their own lifestyle "" they don't want to live in our city "" they want to live out in the country, with their own projects. We'll put up the buildings for them, design the buildings for them, design the food production systems for them "" if they want us to. But we don't control them.
It is not possible to make great buildings, or great towns, beautiful places, places where you feel yourself, places where you feel alive, except by following this way. And, as you will see, this way will lead anyone who looks for it to buildings which are themselves as ancient in their form, as the trees and hills, and as our faces are.
Geometry... is of much assistance in architecture, and in particular it teaches us the use of the rule and compasses, by which especially we acquire readiness in making plans for buildings in their grounds, and rightly apply the square, the level, and the plummet. By means of optics... the light in buildings can be drawn from fixed quarters of the sky. ...Difficult questions involving symmetry are solved by means of geometrical theories and methods.
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio
Having grown up here, I always wonder what it would be like to see this city as a tourist. Is it ever a disappointment? I have to believe that New York always lives up to its reputation. The buildings really are that tall. The lights really are that bright. There's truly a story on every corner. But it still might be a shock. To realize you are just one story walking among millions. To not feel the bright lights even as they fill the air. To see the tall buildings and only feel a deep longing for the stars.
Chicago does not go to the world, the world comes to Chicago! Who needs New York? Who has taller buildings than our tall buildings? Who's got a busier airport than our airport? You want Picasso? We got Picasso, big Picasso. Nobody can make heads or tails of it. It's a lion? No, a seahorse. Looks to me like a radiator with wings. Who gives a damn, people, a Picasso's a Picasso.
Whereas disinfecting Christians involves isolating them and teaching them to be good, discipling Christians involves propelling Christians into the world to risk their lives for the sake of others. Now the world is our focus, and we gauge success in the church not on the hundreds or thousands whom we can get into our buildings but on the hundreds or thousands who are leaving our buildings to take on the world with the disciples they are making
The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert... I don't live inside buildings because buildings are dead places where nothing grows, where water doesn't flow, and where life stops. I don't want to live in a dead place. People say that I don't live in a real world, but it's modern Americans who live in a fake world, because they have stepped outside the natural circle of life.
The silhouettes of Lovat now dominated the skyline. Nine levels stretching skyward. Five hundred meters high at its apex. Each level housing buildings of various sizes sagged on the backs of buildings below. Thousands of sodium lamps twinkled in their recesses. Lovat was the oldest and largest city on the coast, and it showed its age by the haphazard mess it had become. Roads rose and dipped, elevators and staircases criss-crossed, and floors would end and then begin across the city leaving large empty spaces between levels.
Far to our left I could see a commercial airliner on final approach to Soekarno-Hatta. Far to our right I could see the outline of tall city buildings. The imagery was hard to ignore. In the midst was an impoverished world filled with dangerous radicals. Some believed it was God's will to crash airplanes into buildings. Some recruited children to self-detonate on buses and in coffee shops. It must be incredibly difficult to hold fast to hope when you live in such a world. It's also hard to keep faith with humanity when religious ideology is used as an impetus for war. But I also believe that for every war there is a hero ... and for me, Jakarta will always be Indira's city.