Buildings have tremendous inertia. Each one is like a seed. And I believe that those who make and maintain them, especially those that presume to "design" them, must be humble, diligent and gentle, in order to sculpt something that is capable of growing alongside its neighbors into the rich ecosystem of a "place" that we all seem to desire.
The way to do this is to focus on their intrinsic qualities. Not what they mean, or what they represent, or how they relate to themselves throughout history. These are esoteric concerns. It is something else I am after. It is that quality which can't be removed or ignored, that thing which radiates through time, which calls one to care, and which in turn repays the care of generations. You know these places. You remember them.
It need not be profound, exquisite, or exceptional in any way. In fact, the opposite is more often the case. More often than not, a good building goes without notice, working in shadows of consciousness, quietly supportive — a balance to the chaos and shock of modern life.
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