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Archive | Architectural Quotes

“Architecture is Frozen Music”

Last night I attended a beautiful organ concert performed by the one and only, Joseph Jackson.

While enjoying the music, my eyes (not surprisingly) wandered all over the Gothic Revival architecture of Royal Oak’s First Presbyterian Church, which led me back to considering Goethe’s famous quote, the title of this post.

The people in this stunning video are also surrounded by beautiful architecture — a most fitting scene for the unfolding of a beautiful act of human achievement.



Timeless or Timebound Architectural Principles

Buildings ought not to be conceived as objects of short-term consumption but of long-term use.  The principles which guide their design and construction must therefore transcend fashions and whims.  Paraphrasing Hannah Ahrendt, without buildings and towns transcending the life-span of its builders, no public realm, no lasting and collective expression as craft or as art, strictly speaking no culture, is possible.

— Leon Krier

From New Classicisim

By Andreas Papadakis & Harriet Watson


A Case for White-Painted Moldings

White-painted interior woodwork, one of the greatest charms of the Colonial house, provides the only architectural background that conveys satisfactorily the sense of mellow warmth and graceful dignity in eighteenth-century furniture of mahogany and other dark woods.  It constitutes the setting in which the furniture gems of the room are displayed.  Bright and cheerful, chaste and beautiful, it emphasizes the grace of line and richness of color of everything before it, yet seldom forces itself into undue prominence by reason of its color contrast or detail.  Indeed, this treatment of interiors has stood the test of time and we now appreciate what excellent taste our great-grandfathers manifested in depending upon its subtle influence to display the beauties of their rare pieces of furniture — Chippendale, Heppelwhite, Sheraton and Adam, brought from overseas.

From The Colonial Architecture of Salem

By Frank Cousins and Phil M. Riley

First printing in 1919.


A Place of My Own

Mandelbroit suggests that architectural ornament and trim appeal to us because they offer the eye a complex and continuous hierarchy of form and detail, from the exceedingly fine to the massive, that closely resembles the complex hierarchies we find in nature — in the structure of a tree or a crystal or an animal.

– Michael Pollan


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