Architecture

Cathedrals of France book

I should like to inspire a love for this great art, to come to the rescue of as much of it as still remains intact; to save for our children the great lesson of this past which the present misunderstands. In this desire I strive to awaken intellects and hearts to understanding and to love.
—Auguste Rodin, The Cathedrals of France Auguste Rodin was an aggressive womanizer well into old age. The love of beauty that served him nobly as a sculptor served him as a man with notable difference. Continue Reading
Aesthetic Drive

Art is the clearest and most immediate reflection of the spiritual life of a people. It exercises the greatest conscious and unconscious influence on the masses of the people . . . . In its thousandfold manifestations and influences it benefits the nation as whole. ~ Adolph Hitler
Hitler was an aesthete. He would have found much to approve in papal encomia to artists as “custodians of beauty” (Benedict) or “ingenious creators of beauty” (John Paul II). An ardent patron of the arts, Hitler drew around him men with an aesthetic bent. Continue Reading
Nikos Salingaros: Resilient Architecture

You only need a theory if you don’t know how to do something. Leon Krier   We call the New Urbanism originated in the conversion of Leon Krier, architect and urban planner, from modernism to classicism. A blunt critic of vertical sprawl, he once declared “modernist architecture and town planning is inimical to human beings . . . based on the Darwinian concept that evolution is open ended, that there must always be something new and better.” Nikos Salingaros, architect and urban theorist, writes in sympathy with Krier’s appraisal of the ravages of modernist architecture. Continue Reading
"I Don't Do Nice"

In 2008, the Pontifical Council for Culture invited to the Vatican five hundred of its favorite international brands in the arts. Cardinal Ravasi drew up the guest list and emceed the program. Pope Benedict was enlisted, like the speaker at a communion breakfast, to address the gathering. Among the trademarked “custodians of beauty” flattered by the summons was Zaha Hadid, London-based, Iraqi-born starchitect. She is as much a phenomenon as an architect, winning conspicuous commissions all over the globe. Her stated intention is to “rewrite the script for architecture.” Continue Reading