Volume 11, Issue 3: Verbatim
Quotations on Buildings
Various Saints and Clever Pagans
Son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern. And if they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple and its arrangement, its exits and its entrances, its entire design and all its ordinances, all its forms and all its laws. Write it down in their sight, so that they may keep its whole design and all its ordinances, and perform them.
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Perhaps the most influential aspect of Gothic Rationalism was its ethical message expressed in terms of its emphasis on `truth'....In an age which professed itself tired of shams, the call for truthful expression had an irresistible appeal.
It does not matter one marble splinter whether we have an old or a new architecture, but it matters everything whether we have an architecture truly so called or not; that is, whether we have an architecture whose laws might be taught at our schools from Cornwall to Northumberland, as we teach English spelling and English grammar.
In Modernism all literary meaning was stripped away; embellishment, even to reinforce pattern, was eliminated. Modernism was out of balance, as Venturi showed. He demonstrated that effect, symbol, message, and history had their place, as did ordinariness. But, just as the Moderns had thrown out symbol, Post-Modernism threw out form. Architecture now slid past the balance point.
The ambition of the old Babel builders was well directed for this world: there are but two strong conquerors of the forgetfulness of men, Poetry and Architecture; and the latter in some sort includes the former, and is mightier in its reality...
Here was an explanation for the loss of pattern in American design—for that abrupt change from ubiquitous beauty, liveliness, and grace to disharmony and the apparent general weakening of ability. People had not lost their ability, they had stopped looking at buildings as patterns in light and shade and had started seeing them primarily as devices to be used—for effect, comfort, commerce. The results were readily measurable: the patterns of regulating lines disintegrated.
Let then the Beautiful and the True be our watchword for future exertions in the overthrow of modern paltry taste and paganism, and the revival of Catholic art and dignity.
A. Welby Pugin
Hear now with regard to the stones which are in the building. Those white stones which fitted exactly into each other, are apostles, bishops, teachers, and deacons, who have lived in godly purity, who have acted as bishops and teachers and deacons, chastely and reverently to the elect of God. And they have always agreed with each other, and been at peace among themselves, and listened to each other. On account of this, they join exactly into the building of the tower.
The Pastor of Hermas
The flat roof was an article of faith for the Bauhausler ....The flat roof provides a direct confrontation with the heavens and not the rapprochement of the peaked roof—a rapprochement that reaches its pinnacle, in a manner of speaking, in the church steeple, which tapers off to nothing as its way of meeting the infinite, the cross being the point of mediation.
E. Michael Jones
It is the centralisation and protectress of this sacred influence, that Architecture is to be regarded by us with the most serious thought. We may live without her, and worship without her, but we cannot remember without her. How cold is all history, how lifeless all imagery, compared to that which the living nation writes, and the uncorrupted marble bears!
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