An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature.


Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918, Italian-born French poet, critic)


Where do architects and designers get their ideas? The answer, of course, is mainly from other architects and designers, so is it mere casuistry to distinguish between tradition and plagiarism?


Stephen Bayley (1951-, British design critic)


In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it's modern architecture.


Nancy Banks-Smith


When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers.


Colleen C. Barrett


Architecture is inhabited sculpture.


Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957, Romanian sculptor)


A building is akin to dogma; it is insolent, like dogma. Whether or not it is permanent, it claims permanence, like dogma. People ask why we have no typical architecture of the modern world, like impressionism in painting. Surely it is obviously because we have not enough dogmas; we cannot bear to see anything in the sky that is solid and enduring, anything in the sky that does not change like the clouds of the sky.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe: when it knocked down our buildings it did not replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that.


Prince of Wales Charles


All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834, British poet, critic, philosopher)


In short, the building becomes a theatrical demonstration of its functional ideal. In this romanticism, high-tech architecture is, of course, no different in spirit -- if totally different in form -- from all the romantic architecture of the past.


Dan Cruickshank


The terrifying and edible beauty of Art Nouveau architecture.


Salvador Dali (1904-1989, Spanish painter)


The job of buildings is to improve human relations: architecture must ease them, not make them worse.


Ralph Erskine


Don't fight forces, use them.


R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, American inventor, designer, poet, philosopher)


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


Thomas Fuller (1608-1661, British clergyman, author)


Architects, painters, and sculptors must recognize anew and learn to grasp the composite character of a building both as an entity and in its separate parts. Only then will their work be imbued with the architectonic spirit which it has lost as "salon art." Together let us desire, conceive, and create the new structure of the future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in one unity and which will one day rise toward heaven from the hands of a million workers like the crystal symbol of a new faith.


Walter Gropius (1883-1969, German architect)


A modern, harmonic and lively architecture is the visible sign of an authentic democracy.


Walter Gropius (1883-1969, German architect)


The only legitimate artists in England are the architects.


Benjamin Haydon (1786-1846, British artist)


Architecture is to make us know and remember who we are.


Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe


All architects want to live beyond their deaths.


Philip Johnson (1906-, American architect and theorist)


Architecture is the art of how to waste space.


Philip Johnson (1906-, American architect and theorist)


I don't think of form as a kind of architecture. The architecture is the result of the forming. It is the kinesthetic and visual sense of position and wholeness that puts the thing into the realm of art.


Roy Lichtenstein (1923, American artist)


Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest art of all the arts. Painting and sculpture are but images, are merely shadows cast by outward things on stone or canvas, having in themselves no separate existence. Architecture, existing in itself, and not in seeming a something it is not, surpasses them as substance shadow.


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1819-1892, American poet)


Nor aught availed him now to have built in heaven high towers; nor did he scrape by all his engines, but was headlong sent with his industrious crew to build in hell.


John Milton (1608-1674, British poet)


The architect represents neither a Dionysian nor an Apollinian condition: here it is the mighty act of will, the will which moves mountains, the intoxication of the strong will, which demands artistic expression. The most powerful men have always inspired the architects; the architect has always been influenced by power.


Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900, German philosopher)


An architect should live as little in cities as a painter. Send him to our hills, and let him study there what nature understands by a buttress, and what by a dome.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


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 critic, social theorist)


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!


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


When we build, let us think that we build for ever.


John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)


Architecture is petrified music.


Felix E. Schelling (1858-1945, American educator)


Believe me, that was a happy age, before the days of architects, before the days of builders.


Marcus Annaeus Seneca (BC 3-65 AD, Roman philosopher, dramatist, statesman)


It is the Late city that first defies the land, contradicts Nature in the lines of its silhouette, denies all Nature. It wants to be something different from and higher than Nature. These high-pitched gables, these Baroque cupolas, spires, and pinnacles, neither are, nor desire to be, related with anything in Nature. And then begins the gigantic megalopolis, the city-as-world, which suffers nothing beside itself and sets about annihilating the country picture.


Oswald Spengler (1880-1936, German philosopher)


Form ever follows function.


Louis Henry Sullivan


True, there are architects so called in this country, and I have heard of one at least possessed with the idea of making architectural ornaments have a core of truth, a necessity, and hence a beauty, as if it were a revelation to him. All very well perhaps from his point of view, but only a little better than the common dilettantism.


Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862, American essayist, poet, naturalist)


Heredity is a strong factor, even in architecture. Necessity first mothered invention. Now invention has little ones of her own, and they look just like grandma.


Elwyn Brooks White (1899-1985, American author, editor)


Le Corbusier was the sort of relentlessly rational intellectual that only France loves wholeheartedly, the logician who flies higher and higher in ever-decreasing circles until, with one last, utterly inevitable induction, he disappears up his own fundamental aperture and emerges in the fourth dimension as a needle-thin umber bird.


Thomas Wolfe (1931-, American author, journalist)


The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.


Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959, American architect)


 Back to Daimon Library English Quotes Search Page


website tracking