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    Words and Buildings

    by ArchitectureWeek

    Some of the great and defining architects of the modern European tradition put their design and process philosophy and intentions into words. Even if you've encountered some of these statements before and whether or not you agree with the attiudes and explanations expressed you may find these thought-provoking today.

    Walter Gropius

    "One of the outstanding achievements of the new constructional technique has been the abolition of the separating function of the wall. Instead of making the walls the element of support, as in a brick-built house, our new space-saving construction transfers the whole load of the structure to a steel or concrete framework. Thus the role of the walls becomes restricted to that of mere screens stretched between the upright columns of this framework to keep out rain, cold, and noise. ...Systematic technical improvement in steel and concrete, and nicer and nicer calculation of their tensile and compressive strength, are steadily reducing the area occupied by supporting members. This, in turn, naturally leads to a progressively bolder (i.e.wider) opening up of the wall surfaces, which allows rooms to be much better lit. It is, therefore, only logical that the old type of window a hole that had to be hollowed out of the full thickness of a supporting wall should be giving place more and more to the continuous horizontal casement, subdivided by thin steel mullions, characteristic of the New Architecture."

    from Walter Gropius. The New Architecture and the Bauhaus. p25-30.

    Pietro Belluschi

    "To search for the solution in an abstract way is very tempting but only a few extremely gifted, elected architects can do it. Even when they are gifted, they too fall on their face as did Wright in the later years, and Stone; Rudolph himself admits that he goes all the way to do what he thinks is an experiment, and then allows that he might fail. Architecture, as an art, must strive for roots and continuity but must not deny the man of genius his right to innovate if that is his moment, and his voice rings true."

    from Paul Heyer. Architects on Architecture: New Directions in America. p226.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    The Bauhaus by Walter Gropius.
    Claudio Divizia/Artifice Images

    ArchWeek Image

    The Equitable Building by Pietro Belluschi.
    David Owen/Artifice Images


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