What is Architecture

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret aka Le Corbusier (1887 – 1965)

“You employ stone, wood and concrete, and withn these materials you build houses and palaces. That is construction. Ingenuity is at work.

But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good, I am happy and I say: “This is beautiful”. That is Architecture. Art enters in.

My house is practical. I thank you, as I might thank Railway engineers, or the Telephone service. You have not touched my heart.

But suppose that walls rise towards heaven in such a way that I am moved. I perceive your intentions. Your mood has been gentle, brutal, charming or noble. The stones you have erected tell me so. You fix me to the place and my eyes regard it. They behold something which expresses a thought. A thought which reveals itself without word or sound, but solely by means of shapes which stand in a certain relationship to one another. These shapes are such that they are clearly revealed in light. The relationships between them have not necessarily any reference to what is practical or descriptive. They are a mathematical creation of your mind. They are a language of Architecture. By the use of raw materials and starting from conditions more or less utilitarian, you have established certain relationships which have aroused my emotions.

This is Architecture.”

From the book “Vers une architecture” (1923)

Le Corbusier reveals a “mathematical creation of the  mind” as the language of Architecture capable of arousing emotions by phrasing relationships between shapes.

 



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