Sunday, February 7, 2010

Architecture Reaches Beyond Shelter

Architecture opens beyond shelter. It does more than shed rain, mark cozy nests and provide square footage for office space. Architecture establishes a place in the world. It roots human beings in the living, breathing Earth while stretching toward the rotations of the stars. Architecture turns the functions of a kitchen into an alchemical studio for transforming raw materials into the food that embodies families and cultures. Its turns a hole in a wall into a portal marking the passages of life or a window framing the unnamable mysteries of space.

In the wrestling dance of spirit and matter architecture reveals the hidden characters of both. A granite stone and an oak tree are totalities within themselves. Yet, becoming participants in the span or an arch or a well-crafted roof beam, the stone and the wood realize dormant powers and forms that change the world by being expressed.

If you're lucky enough to encounter a building today that points beyond its form to a consciousness that eludes description, stop of a moment; appreciate what can come from the desire to reach beyond shelter; sense the connection between your life journey and the journey of those who created this place; sense the long tradition of architects and builders it embodies; and go on your way renewed by what others have created for you and what you might create for other.


  1. i love this post. so elegant. so captivating. so true. i have always had a keen sense of place, and the spaces that take my breath away, that beg me to slow down and linger are the spaces created by the "wrestling dance of spirit and matter". the spaces created by architecture.

  2. Tony, What a beautiful post. Reminds me of the times I've stood in awe in the middle of the Pantheon, watching the light move within as the sun moved outside. You have such a lovely way of expressing these experiences.