Architecture Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old architecture quotes, architecture sayings, and architecture proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

Architecture is the will of the age conceived in spatial terms. Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
Any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistakes. Luis Barragan
Architecture is not an inspirational business, it's a rational procedure to do sensible and hopefully beautiful things; that's all. Harry Seidler
Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness. Frank Gehry
A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable. Louis Kahn
Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There is begins. Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
Architecture is the alpha principle of all arts. Louis-Ferdinand Céline
The hand expresses what the heart already knows. Samuel Mockbee
The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines. Frank Lloyd Wright
Modern architecture does not mean the use of immature new materials; the main thing is to refine materials in a more human direction. Alvar Aalto
One of the great beauties of architecture is that each time it is like life starting all over again. Renzo Piano
All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks. Gilbert K. Chesterton
Architecture is the king or queen of the arts. Gaetano Pesce
Only architecture that considers human scale and interaction is successful architecture. Jan Gehl
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
Architecture is supposed to complete nature. Great architecture makes nature more beautiful it gives it power. Claudio Silvestrin
Architecture is about public space held by buildings. Richard Rogers
Architecture begins where engineering ends. Walter Gropius
Architecture depends on its time. It is the crystallization of its inner structure, the slow unfolding of its form. Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
Architecture is basically a container of something. I hope they will enjoy not so much the teacup, but the tea. Yoshio Taniguchi
Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves. Julia Morgan
Architecture can't force people to connect, it can only plan the crossing points, remove barriers, and make the meeting places useful and attractive. Denise Scott Brown
Architecture is about the understanding of the world and turning it into a more meaningful and humane place. Juhani Pallasmaa
As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown. Norman Foster
Architecture is a political act, by nature. It has to do with the relationships between people and how they decide to change their conditions of living. Lebbeus Woods
We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us. Winston Churchill
The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization. Frank Lloyd Wright
Home development is about wishful thinking. It's about capturing a dream. Barbara Delinsky
Architecture is like a mythical fantastic. It has to be experienced. It can't be described. We can draw it up and we can make models of it, but it can only be experienced as a complete whole. Maya Lin
All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space. Philip Johnson
Whenever we witness art in a building, we are aware of an energy contained by it. Arthur Erickson
We need houses as we need clothes, architecture stimulates fashion. It's like hunger and thirst you need them both. Karl Lagerfeld
A building is not just a place to be but a way to be. Frank Lloyd Wright
I think architecture is one of the predominant orderings of social space. It can construct and contain our experiences. It defines our days and nights. It literally puts us in our place. Barbara Kruger
Architecture should be dedicated to keeping the outside out and the inside in. Leonard Baskin
Architecture is the very mirror of life. You only have to cast your eyes on buildings to feel the presence of the past, the spirit of a place; they are the reflection of society. I. M. Pei
Architecture is what nature cannot make. Architecture is something unnatural but not something made up. Louis Kahn
Architecture is how the person places herself in the space. Fashion is about how you place the object on the person. Zaha Hadid
Architecture is an expression of values. Norman Foster
I believe that architecture is a pragmatic art. To become art it must be built on a foundation of necessity. I. M. Pei
Architecture appears for the first time when the sunlight hits a wall. The sunlight did not know what it was before it hit a wall. Louis Kahn
Architecture is bound to situation. And I feel like the site is a metaphysical link, a poetic link, to what a building can be. Steven Holl
Architecture is not based on concrete and steel, and the elements of the soil. It's based on wonder. Daniel Libeskind
Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light. Le Corbusier
In architecture the pride of man, his triumph over gravitation, his will to power, assume a visible form. Architecture is a sort of oratory of power by means of forms. Friedrich Nietzsche
Architecture is my first love, if you want to talk about what moves me the ordering of space, the visual pleasure, architecture's power to construct our days and nights. Barbara Kruger
Architecture is a art when one consciously or unconsciously creates aesthetic emotion in the atmosphere and when this environment produces well being. Luis Barragan
This building is like a book. Its architecture is the binding, its text is in the glass and sculpture. Malcolm Miller
Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space. Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
Whatever good things we build end up building us. Jim Rohn
Architecture is the art of how to waste space. Philip Johnson
It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it's the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time. David Allan Coe
Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age. Frank Lloyd Wright
Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever growing insistence. Daniel Burnham
Building art is a synthesis of life in materialised form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together. Alvar Aalto
My buildings will be my legacy... they will speak for me long after I'm gone. Julia Morgan
I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That's art to me. Maya Lin
Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic. Antoni Gaudi
Architecture arouses sentiments in man. The architect's task therefore, is to make those sentiments more precise. Adolf Loos
Space has always been the spiritual dimension of architecture. It is not the physical statement of the structure so much as what it contains that moves us. Arthur Erickson
My passion and great enjoyment for architecture, and the reason the older I get the more I enjoy it, is because I believe we - architects - can effect the quality of life of the people. Richard Rogers
Great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare. In every case they are unique, poetic, products of the heart. Arthur Erickson
I don't divide architecture, landscape and gardening; to me they are one. Luis Barragan
I believe that the way people live can be directed a little by architecture. Tadao Ando
The dialogue between the client and architect is about as intimate as any conversation you can have, because when you're talking about building a house, you're talking about dreams. Robert A. M. Stern
Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design. Stephen Gardiner
To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it. Daniel Libeskind
All the revision in the world will not save a bad first draft: for the architecture of the thing comes, or fails to come, in the first conception, and revision only affects the detail and ornament. T. E. Lawrence
Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul. Ernest Dimnet
When you look at Japanese traditional architecture, you have to look at Japanese culture and its relationship with nature. You can actually live in a harmonious, close contact with nature - this very unique to Japan. Tadao Ando
Architects in the past have tended to concentrate their attention on the building as a static object. I believe dynamics are more important: the dynamics of people, their interaction with spaces and environmental condition. John Portman
Architects have made architecture too complex. We need to simplify it and use a language that everyone can understand. Toyo Ito
Architects of grandeur are often the master builders of disillusionment. Bryant H. McGill
No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple. John Ruskin
A structure becomes architectural, and not sculptural, when its elements no longer have their justification in nature. Guillaume Apollinaire
I love building spaces: architecture, furniture, all of it, probably more than fashion. The development procedure is more tactile. It's about space and form and it's something you can share with other people. Donna Karan
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
Architect: One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money. Ambrose Bierce
The future of architecture does not lie so much in continuing to fill up the landscape as in bringing back life and order to our cities and towns. Gottfried Boehm
Architecture is the alphabet of giants; it is the largest set of symbols ever made to meet the eyes of men. A tower stands up like a sort of simplified stature, of much more than heroic size. G. K. Chesterton
The brevity of human life gives a melancholy to the profession of the architect. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I call architecture petrified music. Really there is something in this: The tone of mind produced by architecture approaches the effect of music. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Of all the forms of visible otherworldliness, the Gothic is at once the most logical and the most beautiful. It reaches up magnificently—and a good half of it is palpably worthless. H. L. Mencken
When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight, nor for present use alone; let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, See! this our fathers did for us. John Ruskin
Architects believe that not only do they sit at the right hand of God, but that if God ever gets up, they take the chair. Karen Moyer
In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it's modern architecture. Nancy Banks Smith
Ah, to build, to build! That is the noblest of all the arts. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Architecture is not all about the design of the building and nothing else, it is also about the cultural setting and the ambiance, the whole affair. Michael Graves
I don't think of form as a kind of architecture. The architecture is the result of the forming. It is the kinesthetic and visual sense of position and wholeness that puts the thing into the realm if art. Roy Lichtenstein
Architecture should be at the head of the arts, not at the foot of the professions. Reginald Blomfield
Most architects think in drawings, or did think in drawings; today, they think on the computer monitor. The interior eye of the brain should be not flat but three dimensional so that everything is an object in space. We are not living in a two-dimensional world. Frei Otto