Architecture Quotes

Quotes tagged as "architecture" Showing 1-30 of 390
Robertson Davies
“A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight.”
Robertson Davies

Kurt Vonnegut
“Artists use frauds to make human beings seem more wonderful than they really are. Dancers show us human beings who move much more gracefully than human beings really move. Films and books and plays show us people talking much more entertainingly than people really talk, make paltry human enterprises seem important. Singers and musicians show us human beings making sounds far more lovely than human beings really make. Architects give us temples in which something marvelous is obviously going on. Actually, practically nothing is going on.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons

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

Alain de Botton
“It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value. Acquaintance with grief turns out to be one of the more unusual prerequisites of architectural appreciation. We might, quite aside from all other requirements, need to be a little sad before buildings can properly touch us.”
Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

Rebecca Solnit
“Walkers are 'practitioners of the city,' for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Karl Lagerfeld
“We need houses as we need clothes, architecture stimulates fashion. It’s like hunger and thirst — you need them both.”
Karl Lagerfeld

Noël Coward
“I don't know what London's coming to — the higher the buildings the lower the morals.”
Noël Coward, Collected Sketches and Lyrics

Frank Lloyd Wright
“As we live and as we are, Simplicity - with a capital "S" - is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means.”
Frank Lloyd Wright, The Natural House

Robert A. Heinlein
“Cheops' Law: Nothing ever gets built on schedule or within budget.”
Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Winston S. Churchill
“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”
Winston S Churchill

Donna Tartt
“What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star?

That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition – tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star…

Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago.

I found myself in a strange deserted city – an old city, like London – underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly – past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble.

I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below.

I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple… click click click… the Pyramids… the Parthenon.

History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment.

'I thought I'd find you here,' said a voice at my elbow.

It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple.

I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know,' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.'

He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum… click click click… the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead,' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.'

'What?'

He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted,' he said.

'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.'

Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him.

'That information is classified, I'm afraid.'

1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor.

'Is it open to the public?' I said.

'Not generally, no.'

I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point.

'Are you happy here?' I said at last.

He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly,' he said.

'But you're not very happy where you are, either.'

St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch.

'I hope you'll excuse me,' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.'

He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.”
Donna Tartt, The Secret History

Alain de Botton
“Bad architecture is in the end as much a failure of psychology as of design. It is an example expressed through materials of the same tendencies which in other domains will lead us to marry the wrong people, choose inappropriate jobs and book unsuccessful holidays: the tendency not to understand who we are and what will satisfy us.”
Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

Susan Elizabeth Phillips
“Gracie: You have an unusual house. Have you lived here long?
Bobby Tom: A couple of years. I don't much like it myself, but the architect is real proud of it. She calls it urban Stone Age with a Japanese Tahitian influence. I sort of just call it ugly.”
Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Heaven, Texas

Ezra Pound
“A real building is one on which the eye can light and stay lit.”
Ezra Pound

Ayn Rand
“But I don’t understand. Why do you want me to think that this is great architecture? He pointed to the picture of the Parthenon.
That, said the Dean, is the Parthenon.
- So it is.
- I haven’t the time to waste on silly questions.
- All right, then. - Roark got up, he took a long ruler from the desk, he walked to the picture. - Shall I tell you what’s rotten about it?
- It’s the Parthenon! - said the Dean.
- Yes, God damn it, the Parthenon!
The ruler struck the glass over the picture.
- Look,- said Roark. - The famous flutings on the famous columns – what are they there for? To hide the joints in wood – when columns were made of wood, only these aren’t, they’re marble. The triglyphs, what are they? Wood. Wooden beams, the way they had to be laid when people began to build wooden shacks. Your Greeks took marble and they made copies of their wooden structures out of it, because others had done it that way. Then your masters of the Renaissance came along and made copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Now here we are, making copies in steel and concrete of copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Why?”
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Rebecca Solnit
“I think one of the primary goals of a feminist landscape architecture would be to work toward a public landscape in which we can roam the streets at midnight, in which every square is available for Virginia Woolf to make up her novels ”
Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics

Juhani Pallasmaa
“The door handle is the handshake of the building.”
Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses

Rebecca Solnit
“Italian cities have long been held up as ideals, not least by New Yorkers and Londoners enthralled by the ways their architecture gives beauty and meaning to everyday acts.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Ayn Rand
“A house can have integrity, just like a person,' said Roark, 'and just as seldom.”
Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Aldous Huxley
“Marble, I perceive, covers a multitude of sins.”
Aldous Huxley

Libba Bray
“Every city is a ghost.
New buildings rise upon the bones of the old so that each shiny steel bean, each tower of brick carries within it the memories of what has gone before, an architectural haunting. Sometimes you can catch a glimpse of these former incarnations in the awkward angle of a street or filigreed gate, an old oak door peeking out from a new facade, the plaque commemorating the spot that was once a battleground, which became a saloon and is now a park.”
Libba Bray, Lair of Dreams

“When they first built the University of California at Irvine they just put the buildings in. They did not put any sidewalks, they just planted grass. The next year, they came back and put the sidewalks where the trails were in the grass. Perl is just that kind of language. It is not designed from first principles. Perl is those sidewalks in the grass.”
Larry Wall

“The architect had not stopped to bother about columns and porticos, proportions or interiors, or any limitation upon the epic he sought to materialize; he had simply made a servant of Nature - art can go no further.”
Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Roland Barthes
“Eiffel saw his Tower in the form of a serious object, rational, useful; men return it to him in the form of a great baroque dream which quite naturally touches on the borders of the irrational ... architecture is always dream and function, expression of a utopia and instrument of a convenience.”
Roland Barthes, The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies

Michelangelo Buonarroti
“The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”
Michelangelo

“Forests were the first temples of God and in forests men grasped their first idea of architecture.”
James C. Snyder, Introduction to Architecture

Michel de Certeau
“To practice space is thus to repeat the joyful and silent experience of childhood; it is, in a place, to be other and to move toward the other...Kandinsky dreamed of: 'a great city built according to all the rules of architecture and then suddenly shaken by a force that defies all calculation.”
Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life

Rebecca Solnit
“The new architecture and urban design of segregation could be called Calvinist: they reflect a desire to live in a world of predestination rather than chance, to strip the world of its wide-open possibilities and replace them with freedom of choice in the marketplace.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Juhani Pallasmaa
“I confront the city with my body; my legs measure the length of the arcade and the width of the square; my gaze unconsciously projects my body onto the facade of the cathedral, where it roams over the mouldings and contours, sensing the size of recesses and projections; my body weight meets the mass of the cathedral door, and my hand grasps the door pull as I enter the dark void behind. I experience myself in the city, and the city exists through my embodied experience. The city and my body supplement and define each other. I dwell in the city and the city dwells in me.”
Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses

André Breton
“It is hard not to see into the future, faced with today's blind architecture - a thousand times more stupid and more revolting than that of other ages. How bored we shall be inside!”
André Breton

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