Words About Architecture Speak Out

Sometimes words speak to us.  When I read the following from Witold Rybczynski’s book Looking Around, I knew it was something that spoke to me and my work.

“The making of architecture has always been a compromise – between the beautiful and the practical, between the ideal and the possible, between innovation and tradition.  The compromise itself is a kind of achievement. ….Buildings like people have a life, perhaps even a soul.  They age and weather and show the marks of human habitation.  In the process they acquire character, a quality that embellishes and amplifies the architect’s original intention.”

Withold Rybczynski is a prolific writer, teacher, critic of architecture and technology, accessible to both architects and non-architects.  His words capture the very essence of architecture.  As he so simply states, it’s a balance between the beautiful (aesthetically pleasing) and the practical (functional, utilitarian, efficient).  The second point he makes regarding buildings having a life and perhaps a soul is also true.  A family living in a house gives it character that transforms it into a home.

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