Theory and Criticism
Why does architecture need to be pure?
It is interesting that most academics and architects believe that architecture should remain pure. e.g, being true to the form in which the materials want to take, having the purest form.
But why is this necessary? Can architecture be explored as an art such as in cinematic/literary realm. to explore a theme of parody, experience, drama, even horror or comedy, playfulness. Will straying into the realms of exploration considered Un-Architectural?
Adib J
Why does architecture need to be pure?
Architecture has many sides to it. This is why most statements conserning the whole phenomenon of it will always be misunderstood.
To me, personally, structural and technical solutions should be pure, true and "honest". This has to do with economics, ecology, a.o. and therefore also with ethics, etc.
Other sides of architecture -- mainly "the ones involving human life" (to put it very short) in it -- should in my opinion be imaginative and expressive and all the things you listed in your mail.
Janne Teräsvirta
Why does architecture need to be pure?
vitruvius described the ideal architect as a person who is an artist, a philosopher, mathmatican, astonomer, doctor and much more. an architect, idealy i believe, is a commentor on the way we live. and drawings parallels with life is but his job. and how he does this shines foward as his capability as an architect. look at the works of daniel libeskind, lebbeus woods, morphosis, zaha hadid it's all abt playfulness and the function is intact.
another thing i'd like to add is abt ur interpretation of of purity in material and form. it seems to me that you might have merged them. these two are very different. pure forms are platonic forms i.e. cube pyramid.......whereas purity of materials is by no means restrictive as you are implying. it is the 'understanding' of the material that brings restriction. take an example of Wright and his textile block houses. he understood a use of concrete and then there is felix candela takes RCC technolgy to the most playful extents. and among all this mention ero saaraien and the TWA terminal. so i'd say it's not abt purity in tangible architecture but a pure and clear thought process we should be aiming for.
Ahmed Asad Zuberi
Why does architecture need to be pure?
Dear Ahmed Asad Zuberi,

"..a pure and clear thought process we should be aiming for". Well said, Ahmed.

Adib inquires why one shoud aim at purity in architecture. The reason is because purity is one of the highest aim in Islamic and other spiritual understandings. Architects aim at the highest quality through the quest for the pure in architecture. Purity is given the highest quality in spiritual thought as an attribute of the God almighty. By pursuing this quest for purity an architect submits his / her creation as a humble tribute to the God.

There is always a great scope for architects to address the human aspects,cultural and social needs. Architecture is also an art that addresses all aspects of humanity. Human architecture expresses different feelings, emotions, expressions, playfulness and other human pecularities. However, the value premises of a given society acts a guide to what is considered a higher quality. Spiritualism teaches us that purity is a higher aim than mere playfulness.

But consider the role of a Joker in a circus. His gimmicks or playfulneess may have a thread of purity in that it addresses the pure delight in the eyes and minds of children and others. But then do we rate him as the highest or finest artist?

with best wishes,
Akhtar Chauhan
Why does architecture need to be pure?
"a fool can make people cry, it takes a genius to make them laugh"
-charile chaplain

dear mr chauhan,
serivce to man is service to god. i think that is a corner stone to spiritualism. there is no spirtiualism without humanism. understanding humans who they are and how they are different and yet alike would make us more reverent of the One who made them.

i would also like to examine the language that we use. purity: adjective and so will have relativity attched to it. purity, aethetics,submission each will be realtive and variant as man himself.
as architects we are a service to men.our intentions, not our forms, should be pure to produce purity.
Ahmed Asad Zuberi


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