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Architectural Quotes 

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"Architecture is inhabited sculpture."

-  Constantin Brancusi


"Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness."

- Frank Gehry


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

-Ezra Pound

"People who build their own home tend to be very courageous. These people are curious about life. They're thinking about what it means to live in a house, rather than just buying a commodity and making it work."

- Tom Kundig

"In any and every case the site is the beginning of the building that aspires to be architecture. And this is true whatever the site or the building may be."

-Frank Lloyd Wright

"The coulees offered extraordinary opportunities: dramatic heights and depths unusual in the Prairies, and the possibility of outlook, proximity to the river and a microclimate milder than the windswept flatlands."

-Arthur Erickson

"Architecture, as I see it, is the art of composing spaces in response to existing environmental …conditions to answer a client's needs. In this way the building becomes the resolution between its inner being and the outer conditions imposed upon it. It is never solitary but is part of its setting and thus must blend in a timeless way with its surroundings, yet show its own fresh presence.”

-Arthur Erickson


"Nothing requires the architect's care more than the due proportions of buildings."

- Vitruvius


“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


“The cosmetic is cosmic.” 

-Rem Koolhaas


“We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.” 

-Jun'ichirō Tanizaki



"Architecture arouses sentiments in man. The architect's task, therefore, is to make those sentiments more precise."

- Adolf Loos



"Architecture is not based on concrete and steel, and the elements of the soil. It's based on wonder."

-Daniel Libeskind



"Any work of architecture that does not express serenity is a mistake."

-Luis Barragán



"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

-Henry David Thoreau


"Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul."

-Ernest Dimnet



"I never design a building before I’ve seen the site and met the people who will be using it."

-Frank Lloyd Wright


“A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.” 

-Louis I. Kahn


“Either a building is part of a place or it is not. Once that kinship is there, time will only make it stronger.” 

-Willa Cather


“Life is architecture and architecture is the mirror of life.” 

-I. M. Pei


“Let's do it right. This is for the ages.” 

-I. M. Pei


"Splendid architecture, the love of your life, an old friend... they can all go drifting by unseen if you're not careful."

- Ian Mckellen


“I call architecture frozen music.” 

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


"If architecture is frozen music then music must be liquid architecture."

-Quincy Jones


"I don't divide architecture, landscape and gardening; to me they are one." 

-Luis Barragan


"Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need and beauty to produce something that the world didn't know it was missing."

-Paola Antonelli


"You don't need to spend a lot of money on stuff when you have amazing architecture."

- Nate Berkus


"When we build, let us think that we build forever."

-John Ruskin


“Authentic architecture is not the incarnation of the spirit of the age but of the spirit, full stop.” 

-Leon Krier, The Architecture of Community


"The English light is so very subtle, so very soft and misty, that the architecture responded with great delicacy of detail."

- Stephen Gardiner


"The ultimate goal of the architect...is to create a paradise. Every house, every product of architecture... should be a fruit of our endeavour to build an earthly paradise for people."

-Alvar Aalto

Here is a long one from the Prince of Wales:

In a world of ever-increasing homogenization and standardization, where ever more pettifogging rules and regulations suck out the character, charm and spiritual meaning from every pore of our human experience, the need to champion a living tradition of building and cultural continuity could not be more vital. 


At long last, we are witnessing an increasingly widespread appreciation of the value of building in traditional ways. Across the world architects, town planners and builders are looking once again to time-honoured classical and vernacular sources as their inspiration for building today.


Sadly, it is all too apparent that despite our best intentions the traditional buildings that are being constructed today do not always feel 'right'. Why is this? So often, they seem to fail in the small details - the proportion of a window, or a badly-detailed door surround, or in a mistaken or short-sighted choice of materials. 


The problems stem from an appalling interruption in the teaching of basic traditional skills. During the last century, architects and builders lost much of the innate knowledge - both theoretical and practical - that had been built up by their forefathers for generations. It is a hard task indeed for us to re-educate ourselves, and to learn again the way in which our ancestors managed to build so beautifully, yet economically, and in sympathy with their local surroundings. 


As the traditional architectural movement continues to grow around the world, and particularly in America, it is heartening to see a renewed appreciation for the finer details of old buildings and natural materials.





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

-Frank Lloyd Wright


“It is a building designed by committee: all they have been able to agree on is that it should be rectangular, have windows, and not fall over.” 

-Max Barry, Company


"Good design goes to heaven; bad design goes everywhere."

-Mieke Gerritzen


"Computers are to design as microwaves are to cooking."

-Milton Glaser


"Look, architecture has a lot of places to hide behind, a lot of excuses. 'The client made me do this.' 'The city made me do this.' 'Oh, the budget.' I don't believe that anymore."

-Frank Gehry


"The frightening thought that what you draw may become a building makes for reasoned lines."

-Saul Steinberg


"Architecture is a very dangerous job. If a writer makes a bad book, eh, people don't read it. But if you make bad architecture, you impose ugliness on a place for a hundred years."

 -Renzo Piano


“Nothing like that warm and fuzzy Soviet architecture ... Pretty much as close to the Klingon home world as you're gonna get.” 

-Josh Gates


"People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable in anything and ecstatic in anything. More and more I think that architecture has nothing to do with it. Of course, that's both liberating and alarming." 

-Rem Koolhaas


"Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because the idea wasn't theirs."

-Frank Chimero


"The most innovative designers consciously reject the standard option box and cultivate an appetite for thinking wrong."

-Marty Neumeier

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