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50 Meaningful Quotations About Architecture

We've picked 50 quotations by architects and about architecture. Some are commonly known, others are less known, but look to us as very significant in the processes of shaping the personality of a contemporary planner.

I don't want to be interesting. I want to be good. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

A house is a machine for living in. Le Corbusier

I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies. Le Corbusier

Be not afraid of being called un-fashionable. Adolf Loos

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci

Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space… On the one hand it's about shelter, but it's also about pleasure. Zaha Hadid

Architects spend an entire life with this unreasonable idea that you can fight against gravity. Renzo Piano 

Any work of architecture that does not express serenity is a mistake. Luis Barragán

The room is there for the human being – not the human being for the room. El Lissitzky

The house has to please everyone, contrary to the work of art which does not. The work is a private matter for the artist. The house is not. Adolf Loos

Be truthful. Nature only sides with truth. Adolf Loos

To work in architecture you are so much involved with society, with politics, with bureaucrats. It's a very complicated process to do large projects. You start to see the society, how it functions, how it works. Then you have a lot of criticism about how it works. Ai Weiwei

I tell you, it is easier to build a grand opera or a city center than to build a personal house. Alvar Aalto

A good architect works slowly. Alvaro Siza

The difference between good and bad architecture is the time you spend on it. David Chipperfield

If a building is not precise, it is not just the fault of the craftsman. It is the architect who does not think in a precise manner. Valerio Olgiati

When you are an architect you think about food. French food has 20 ingredients and you do not know what you are eating. I like Italian food. You know what you eat. It is clear. Valerio Olgiati

Architecture is the reaching out for the truth. Louis Kahn

Nothing requires the architect's care more than the due proportions of buildings. Vitruvius

We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us. Winston Churchill

Form follows profit is the aesthetic principle of our times. Richard Rogers

We should concentrate our work not only to a separated housing problem but housing involved in our daily work and all the other functions of the city. Alvar Aalto

There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans. Jane Jacobs

What people want, above all, is order. Stephen Gardiner

In the big picture, architecture is the art and science of making sure that our cities and buildings fit with the way we want to live our lives. Bjarke Ingels

Infrastructure is much more important than architecture. Rem Koolhaas

Architecture is a very dangerous job. If a writer makes a bad book, eh, people don't read it. But if you make bad architecture, you impose ugliness on a place for a hundred years. Renzo Piano

Architecture is about public space held by buildings. Richard Rogers

Architecture is always political. Richard Rogers

I think the chance of finding beauty is higher if you don't work on it directly. Beauty in architecture is driven by practicality. This is what you learn from studying the old townscapes of the Swiss farmers. Peter Zumthor

I suppose I'm trying to build an architecture that's as timeless as possible, although we're all creatures of our age. David Chipperfield

There is a lot of bad architecture. What we need more is to look at how our landscape should look in the next decades. 

The more centralized the power, the less compromises need to be made in architecture. Peter Eisenman

You have to accept as an architect to be exposed to criticism. Architecture should not rely on full harmony. Renzo Piano

Architecture is a negotiated art, and it's highly political, and if you want to make buildings, there is diplomacy required. Thom Mayne

Britain loves a bargain, but you don't get good, lasting architecture on the cheap. David Chipperfield

An important work of architecture will create polemics. Richard Meier

Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities. Jane Jacobs

You can't rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there. Jane Jacobs

The real jungle is in the office of the bureaucrats. Jane Jacobs

If a project is intense, valid, and has a powerful idea, its imperfections will be in the background. Alberto Campo Baeza

Dyslexia made me realize that people who say 'but you can't do that' aren't actually very important. I don't take 'no' too seriously. Richard Rogers

Buildings are deeply emotive structures which form our psyche. David Adjaye

If we learn to build with local materials, we have a future. Francis Kere

I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach? Philip Johnson

Architecture is about people. Francis Kere

I don't know why people hire architects and then tell them what to do. Frank Ghery

Architecture is an expression of values. Norman Foster

To create, one must first question everything. Eileen Gray

A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


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