Man made giants. It’s hard to say exactly what it is for me, but I’ll try. When I walk up to a building that catches my eye and imagination, it’s timeless. Looking at photographs I took, years later I’ll be spellbound. From crevices to corners, arches to columns, stone to wood, steel to glass; the materials one can only gather from a handfull of elements, but imaginations of the architects behind these buildings! What marvels! I believe this is paramount to a cultures identity.
“We create our houses and then they create us.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
Implications go far beyond the price of a building, a lasting building creates a culture with it, encourages similar styles to sprout around it, imprints the landscape, invites tourism and commerce and socializing. I have seen decrepit once-was buildings of a forgotten time nestled in the heart of Bucharest’s Paris district, or the grandiose Parliament district in Budapest, the cold and modern Bankers district of San Francisco, which sits just minutes away from the famous Piers of San Fran. In each of these districts (and many many more), the aura that one can feel amidst it, even in it’s ruin, is palpable.
I always get drawn to peaks, particularity gothic peaks of stone with acute detail and attention painstakingly erected. I get drawn to long and tall windows having an interesting view of the square or lane they look out on to. To the slope of a roof, or the size of a patio. To minute detail in trim or alcoves where gargoyles or family totems sit waiting. Don’t even get me started talking about modern houses without peaked roofs!
There is a saying in good engineering that one must always be conscious not only in the beauty of the design itself, but in the ease of assembly, or for architectures, construction. Perhaps this balance has brought us twenty year old buildings decaying into ruin, and two houndred year old buildings standing tall and proud. Whatever the case, I appreciate the effort that goes into a well crafted building.