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By Architects, With Architects and For Architecture

Written by  Thursday, 15 October 2015 10:44
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By Architects, With Architects and For Architecture

A collection of thought-inspiring quotes by architects and

 about architecture.



When we build let us think that we build forever.

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

British art critic, writer, and reformer.

The Seven Lamps of Architecture, "The Lamp of Memory"



Monuments last much longer than words. Civilizations are remembered by buildings. There's nothing more important than architecture.

Philip Johnson (1906 - 2005)

U.S. architect.



We want and deserve tin-can architecture in a tin-horn culture. And we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed.


Referring to the demolition of Pennsylvania Station, New York.

New York Times


A house is a machine for living in.

Le Corbusier (1887 - 1965)

Swiss-born French architect.

Towards a New Architecture


A structure becomes architecture and not sculpture when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 - 1918)

Italian-born French poet.


It is not the sense of height, or breadth or length or depth that is stirred, but the sense of immensity...After seeing the pyramid, all other architecture seems but pastry.

Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)

U.S. novelist.

Referring to visiting the pyramids at Giza.






Absence of verbosity, good arrangement, a single idea, daring and unity in construction, the use of elementary shapes. A sane morality.

Le Corbusier (1887 - 1965)

Swiss-born French architect.

Referring to the architecture of ancient Rome.

Towards a New Architecture (Frederick Etchells, tr.)


When you think of some of the high flats around us, it can hardly be an accident that they are as near as one can get to an architectural representation of a filing cabinet.

Jimmy Reid

Scottish labor leader.

"Flats" means "apartments."

Address as new Rector of Glasgow University


What distinguishes architecture from painting and sculpture is its spatial quality. In this, and only in this, no other artist can emulate the architect...history of architecture is primarily a history of man shaping space.

Nikolaus Pevsner (1902 - 1983)

German-born British architecture and art historian.

An Outline of European Architecture


We may, without offending any laws of good taste, require of an architect, as we do of a novelist, that he should be not only correct, but entertaining.

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

British art critic, writer, and reformer.

Stones of Venice


The learning of Architecture comprehendeth in it many notable Arts.

Sebastiano Serlio (1475 - 1554)

Italian architect and theorist.

The First Booke of Architecture


The architect is a servant, a tailor, who cuts and measures the thin chap or the fat chap and tries to make him comfortable. He is not a reformer.

Basil Spence (1907 - 1976)

British architect.

The Observer (London), "Sayings of the Week"


Sculpture to me is like poetry, and architecture like prose.

Maya Lin (1959 - )

U.S. architect and sculptor.

The Observer (London), "Sayings of the Week"



One of the reasons why medieval and Renaissance architecture is so much better than our own is that the architects were artists. Bernini, one of the great artists of seventeenth-century Rome, was a sculptor.

Kenneth Clark (1903 - 1983)

British art historian.



No person who is not a great sculptor or painter can be an architect. If he is not a sculptor or painter, he can only be a builder.

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

British art critic, writer, and reformer.

Lectures on Architecture and Painting


No house should ever be built on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 - 1959)

U.S. architect.

An Autobiography


My job is to create an environment that relaxes morality.

Robert DiLeonardo

U.S. architect.

Referring to casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Wall Street Journal


It was hell for women architects then. They didn't want us in school or in the profession. One thing I've never understood about this prejudice is that it's so strange in view of the fact that the drive to build has always been in women.

Gertrude Lempp Kerbis (1926 - )

U.S. architect.


Less is a bore.

Robert Venturi (1925 - )

U.S. architect and writer.

Criticizing the minimalist style of architecture, and a riposte to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's maxim, "Less is more."


Light (God's eldest daughter) is a principal beauty in building.

Thomas Fuller (1608 - 1661)

English clergyman and author.

The Holy State and the Profane State, "Of Building"


It should not merely be useful and ornamental; it should preach a high moral lesson.

Lytton Strachey (1880 - 1932)

British writer.

Referring to Prince Albert's plans for the Great Exhibition (1851) at the Crystal Palace.

Queen Victoria

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