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date: 08 December 2023


see also Buildings
  1. Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.
    If you seek a monument, gaze around.
    Anonymous: inscription in St Paul's Cathedral, London, attributed to the son of Sir Christopher Wren (1632–1723), its architect
  2. In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it's modern architecture.
    Nancy Banks-Smith 1929–  British journalist: in Guardian 20 February 1979
  3. We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.
    Winston Churchill 1874–1965 British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister 1940–5, 1951–5: in the House of Commons, 28 October 1943
  4. Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.
    Ernest Dimnet French priest, writer, and lecturer: What We Live By (1932) pt. 2, ch. 12
  5. He builded better than he knew;—
    The conscious stone to beauty grew.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803–82 American philosopher and poet: ‘The Problem’ (1847)
  6. Light (God's eldest daughter) is a principal beauty in a building.
    Thomas Fuller 1608–61 English preacher and historian: The Holy State and the Profane State bk. 3 ‘Of Building’
  7. Architecture is the art of how to waste space.
    Philip Johnson 1906–2005 American architect: New York Times 27 December 1964
  8. A house is a machine for living in.
    Le Corbusier 1887–1965 French architect: Vers une architecture (1923); see Tolstoy
  9. There will never be great architects or great architecture without great patrons.
    Edwin Lutyens 1869–1944 English architect: in Country Life 8 May 1915
  10. God is in the details.
    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe 1886–1969 German-born architect and designer: in New York Times 19 August 1969
  11. A bicycle shed is a building; Lincoln Cathedral is a piece of architecture. Nearly everything that encloses space on a scale sufficient for a human being to move in is a building; the term architecture applies only to buildings designed with a view to aesthetic appeal.
    Nikolaus Pevsner 1902–83 German-born architectural historian: An Outline of European Architecture (1943)
  12. Little boxes on the hillside…
    And they're all made out of ticky-tacky
    And they all look just the same.
    on the tract houses in the hills to the south of San Francisco
    Malvina Reynolds 1900–78 American songwriter: ‘Little Boxes’ (1962 song)
  13. 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 1819–1900 English art and social critic: Lectures on Architecture and Painting (1854) Lectures 1 and 2 (addenda)
  14. When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
    John Ruskin 1819–1900 English art and social critic: Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849) ‘The Lamp of Memory’ sect. 10
  15. Architecture in general is frozen music.
    Friedrich von Schelling 1775–1854 German philosopher: Philosophie der Kunst (1809)
  16. Form follows function.
    Louis Henri Sullivan 1856–1924 American architect: The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered (1896)
  17. Less is a bore.
    Robert Venturi 1925–  American architect: Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture (1966) ch. 2; see Mies van der Rohe
  18. Now these should be so carried out that account is taken of strength, utility, grace.
    Vitruvius fl. 1st century bc Roman architect and military engineer: On Architecture bk. 1, ch. 3, sect. 2; see Wotton
  19. You think philosophy is difficult enough but I can tell you it is nothing to the difficulty of being a good architect.
    on designing his sister's house
    Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889–1951 Austrian-born philosopher: said in 1930, M O'C. Drury ‘Conversations with Wittgenstein’ in Rush Rhees (ed.) Ludwig Wittgenstein: Personal Recollections (1981) ch. 6
  20. Well building hath three conditions. Commodity, firmness, and delight.
    Henry Wotton 1568–1639 English poet and diplomat: Elements of Architecture (1624) pt. 1; see Vitruvius
  21. Architecture has its political use; public buildings being the ornament of a country; it establishes a nation, draws people and commerce; makes the people love their native country…Architecture aims at eternity.
    Christopher Wren 1632–1723 English architect and astronomer: ‘Of Architecture’ (written 1666) in Christopher Wren (1675–1747) Parentalia; or Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens (1750)
  22. The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines—so they should go as far as possible from home to build their first buildings.
    Frank Lloyd Wright 1867–1959 American architect: in New York Times 4 October 1953, sect. 6