Happy One Year!


The New Palace of Congress at the E.U.R. in Rome by Fuksas is a perfect distillation of the Rationalist and Spiritualist battle in architecture.


This is my one year anniversary of starting my architecture blog.  It has been a blast getting my ideas out into the open, and I hope you have enjoyed them.  In celebration of one year, and about 35,00o words, I am posting some highlights from the past year.  These are a few of my favorite quotes from the blog.  Enjoy!

-An architect is a hypocrite towards his own desires. No other professional works in a field that so boldly skirts the line between the rational and the spiritual.

-Architecture must be beautiful and have a conveniently placed toilet!

-Hide the truth to heighten the truth.

-The International Style:  What they attempted to do here was destroy the boundaries of spoken language and nationalism and unite all countries towards a worldwide community: A Reverse Diaspora, which is contrary to the Tower of Babel: One building pulls us apart, and a new philosophy brings us together!  But alas, just like any utopian aspiration, (like Communism for example), other complex forces in the world (like greed {nay}, and free will {yay}) diminish lofty overarching visions and keep the world in a constant state of paradox: order and chaos….

-The modern and the ancient collided in Le Corbusier’s conception of a new Modern Architecture.

-Mies Van Der Rohe had do to so much to create Less. He had to hide utilities, he had to arrange program to fit in cores, he had to develop better facade technology.  He used industrialized ornamentation to articulate the parts of a building. Honesty was not his goal, but a concept of honesty.

-Walking around the Trump Tower I was depressed to find so many tourists pointing at it, and taking pictures of it, unconscious of the truly great buildings right around including, IBM, Marina Towers and the Wrigley Building. I’ve been compelled several times to go right up to the tourists and tell them they are taking pictures of the wrong buildings. For now, I will let the bully be king of the mountain. I’m confident the novelty will wear off soon.

-The question that plagues all artists, sculptors and architects in search for ideas of truth: How does one express an idea of the spiritual with physical means?

-What Mies did was assimilate the residual effects of minimalist architecture into a more subtle and sublime whole. The effects and illusions of materials were framed within order for maximum viewing of their mystical qualities.

-Glass is a material that on the surface appears to clarify the nature of a building: The more glass used, the more we understand about its program and structural diagram. However, an overabundance of glass can undermine this purpose and create major ambiguities with reflectivity.

-Farnsworth house–The architecture is nature’s frame. It is not overtly decorative in order that it does not compete with nature.  At a museum if a painting is framed in an overtly ornate gilded frame the power of the painting is attenuated. A conspicuous frame will make one forget the frame and focus on what is important; the painting!

-This is the paradox of the architect: to design within gravity to create a building that reassures its inhabitants that it will not topple and crush them, and yet to design against gravity so the inhabitants do not feel stifled by the constant force that keeps them grounded.

-The closer one comes to floating, the closer one comes to perfection!

-This tension between heaviness and lightness is what makes Frank Lloyd Wright’s facades so effective aesthetically, and psychologically. A person living in an FLLW house would simultaneously feel the stability and comfort of a grounded building, but not be overburdened by the effects of gravity.

-As Alvar Aalto’s works progressed, the duality between aesthetics and function  became clearer. In the Villa Mairea we see a logical orthogonal plan skirted with elements of pure aesthetic delight.

-On Mullet Architecture–In order to “blend” more clearly with the surrounding neighborhood, Wright played all of his fun games with architecture on the back facade of the (Winslow) house while keeping the front relatively subdued and orderly. It was strictly business in the front, while the party stayed in the back!

-A further distilled Mullet House can be seen in the second Herbert Jacobs house by Frank Lloyd Wright. This so called “Solar Hemicycle” is an arch shaped wedge that derives its shapes according to the movement of the sun. The south, and private, concave facade is all glass and the north convex facade is brutal stonework that resembles a medieval castle. Nowhere is privacy driven Mullet Architecture more clearly articulated. The duality of domestic architecture is found in the need for freedom and privacy.

-Architecture will always need to protect its inhabitants from the rain and the wind and whatever else Mother Nature decides to throw at us. Because of this I do not believe that the spiritual desire for a connection with nature will ever completely conquer the pragmatic need for protection from it.

-The demands of architecture by the people are the same as they have always been: a building that protects one from nature, but done in such a way as to not cut one off from nature. What a defiant and comforting feeling we have when witnessing a thunderstorm from behind glass!

-This is the dual nature of the architect. By our very nature we are conflicted individuals. We are unsatisfied with total logic. We are unsatisfied with the complete freedom awarded to the fine artist. We are hypocrites towards our own desires. Long live the dual natured architect!

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