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Philip Johnson on Great Architecture

All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space. — Philip Johnson

WHAT IS GREAT ARCHITECTURE?

Buildings are all over the place, but not all buildings are architecture. In the above quote, Philip Johnson talks about the point where a building becomes great architecture, taking an occupant to another level where a space actually “touches” a person. Through the senses, emotion, cognition and even spiritual moments — a great building has qualities that “move” you.

I think that as architects we should strive to achieve such qualities in our work, going beyond the programmatic to reach a type of language that speaks through our style. Great architecture most usually exhibits this type of quality, conveying to occupants in renewed ways or simply reminding them of something they have felt before.

Either way, great architecture taps into human experience — uncovering and creating that which inspires and often stirs our soul.

Image Credit: © bee721 | Flickr

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Now It's Your Turn. Share Your Insights!

I now invite you to share your insights and a-ha moments in the comments below. How has this article helped you to see more deeply into architectural design? What did you learn that will make you an even better architect? And how will you apply what you discovered to your own work?

I look forward to learning more about you and your work!

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This 31 minute masterclass will forever change
how you think about environments.