150 Famous Architecture Quotes

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Top famous architecture quotes

We shape our buildings thereafter they shape us.

— Winston Churchill

Whatever good things we build end up building us.

— Jim Rohn

I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.

— Ayn Rand

A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom.

— Ayn Rand

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

We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it.

— John Ruskin

An architect’s most useful tools are an eraser at the drafting board, and a wrecking bar at the site.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

Light, God’s eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.

— Thomas Fuller

Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.

— Frank Gehry

Less is more.

— Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I don’t divide architecture, landscape and gardening to me they are one.

— Luis Barragan

Architecture is the art of how to waste space.

— Philip Johnson

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

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

The higher the building the lower the morals.

— Noel Coward

A house is a machine for living in.

— Le Corbusier

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

Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.

— Antonio Gaudi

Architecture is basically a container of something. I hope they will enjoy not so much the teacup, but the tea.

— Yoshio Taniguchi

Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.

— Le Corbusier

I believe that the way people live can be directed a little by architecture.

— Tadao Ando

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

Great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare. In every case they are unique, poetic, products of the heart.

— Arthur Erickson

Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.

— Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That’s art to me.

— Maya Lin

Architecture is the reaching out for the truth.

— Louis Kahn

We should concentrate our work not only to a separated housing problem but housing involved in our daily work and all the other functions of the city.

— Alvar Aalto

Make big plans aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.

— Daniel Burnham

Architecture arouses sentiments in man. The architect’s task therefore, is to make those sentiments more precise.

— Adolf Loos

To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it.

— Daniel Libeskind

To me, a building – if it’s beautiful – is the love of one man, he’s made it out of his love for space, materials, things like that.

— Martha Graham

Form follows profit is the aesthetic principle of our times.

— Richard Rogers

Warmth isn’t what minimalists are thought to have.

— Maya Lin

But the building’s identity resided in the ornament.

— Louis Sullivan

It is not the beauty of a building you should look at its the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.

— David Allan Coe

I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?

— Philip Johnson

A city building, you experience when you walk a suburban building, you experience when you drive.

— Helmut Jahn

Every building is a prototype. No two are alike.

— Helmut Jahn

The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid.

— Thomas a Kempis

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

Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.

— Julia Morgan

We build buildings which are terribly restless. And buildings don’t go anywhere. They shouldn’t be restless.

— Minoru Yamasaki

Architecture tends to consume everything else, it has become one’s entire life.

— Arne Jacobsen

What people want, above all, is order.

— Stephen Gardiner

The interior of the house personifies the private world the exterior of it is part of the outside world.

— Stephen Gardiner

If you give people nothingness, they can ponder what can be achieved from that nothingness.

— Tadao Ando

Nothing requires the architect’s care more than the due proportions of buildings.

— Marcus V. Pollio

Proportions are what makes the old Greek temples classic in their beauty. They are like huge blocks, from which the air has been literally hewn out between the columns.

— Arne Jacobsen

Architecture is not an inspirational business, it’s a rational procedure to do sensible and hopefully beautiful things that’s all.

— Harry Seidler

Not many architects have the luxury to reject significant things.

— Rem Koolhaas

Cities are the greatest creations of humanity.

— Daniel Libeskind

No architect troubled to design houses that suited people who were to live in them, because that would have meant building a whole range of different houses. It was far cheaper and, above all, timesaving to make them identical.

— Michael Ende

If I have a style, I am not aware of it.

— Michael Graves

Don’t clap too hard – it’s a very old building.

— John Osborne

Form follows function.

— Louis Sullivan

The work of art shows people new directions and thinks of the future. The house thinks of the present.

— Adolf Loos

My buildings don’t speak in words but by means of their own spaciousness.

— Thom Mayne

Designed by architects with honorable intentions but hands of palsy.

— Jimmy Breslin

The dialogue between 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

The Romans were not inventors of the supporting arch, but its extended use in vaults and intersecting barrel shapes and domes is theirs.

— Harry Seidler

The bungalow had more to do with how Americans live today than any other building that has gone remotely by the name of architecture in our history.

— Russell Lynes

Color in certain places has the great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic.

— Antonio Gaudi

In any architecture, there is an equity between the pragmatic function and the symbolic function.

— Michael Graves

At a certain point, I just put the building and the art impulse together. I decided that building was a legitimate way to make sculpture.

— Martin Puryear

For many years, I have lived uncomfortably with the belief that most planning and architectural design suffers for lack of real and basic purpose. The ultimate purpose, it seems to me, must be the improvement of mankind.

— James Rouse

The frightening thought that what you draw may become a building makes for reasoned lines.

— Saul Steinberg

Buildings should serve people, not the other way around.

— John Portman

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

My buildings will be my legacy… they will speak for me long after I’m gone.

— Julia Morgan

In Los Angeles, by the time you’re 35, you’re older than most of the buildings.

— Delia Ephron

Rome has not seen a modern building in more than half a century. It is a city frozen in time.

— Richard Meier

Even at the United Nations, where legend has it that the building was designed so that there could be no corner offices, the expanse of glass in individual offices is said to be a dead giveaway as to rank. Five windows are excellent, one window not so great.

— Enid Nemy

I have designed the most buildings of any living American architect.

— Alexander Jackson Davis

I am but an architectural composer.

— Alexander Jackson Davis

As a designer, the mission with which we have been charged is simple: providing space at the right cost.

— Harry von Zell

They can do without architecture who have no olives nor wines in the cellar.

— Henry David Thoreau

I call architecture frozen music.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.

— Coco Chanel

The greatest advances of civilization, whether in architecture or painting, in science and literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government.

— Milton Friedman

I paint mostly from real life. It has to start with that. Real people, real street scenes, behind the curtain scenes, live models, paintings, photographs, staged setups, architecture, grids, graphic design. Whatever it takes to make it work.

— Bob Dylan

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.

— Ernest Hemingway

Switzerland is a small, steep country, much more up and down than sideways, and is all stuck over with large brown hotels built on the cuckoo clock style of architecture.

— Ernest Hemingway

The ancient Romans built their greatest masterpieces of architecture, their amphitheaters, for wild beasts to fight in.

— Voltaire

Architecture has recorded the great ideas of the human race. Not only every religious symbol, but every human thought has its page in that vast book.

— Victor Hugo

There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

All architecture is great architecture after sunset perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Every man’s work, whether it be literature, or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.

— Samuel Butler

I was planning to go into architecture. But when I arrived, architecture was filled up. Acting was right next to it, so I signed up for acting instead.

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.

— Steve Martin

Architecture begins where engineering ends.

— Walter Gropius

The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

The terrifying and edible beauty of Art Nouveau architecture.

— Salvador Dali

It is impossible, as impossible as to raise the dead, to restore anything that has ever been great or beautiful in architecture. That which I have insisted upon as the life of the whole, that spirit which is given only by the hand and eye of the workman, can never be recalled.

— John Ruskin

A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.

— Lord Byron

No architecture is so haughty as that which is simple.

— John Ruskin

It seems a fantastic paradox, but it is nevertheless a most important truth, that no architecture can be truly noble which is not imperfect.

— John Ruskin

Organic architecture seeks superior sense of use and a finer sense of comfort, expressed in organic simplicity.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

Convinced as I am and as I am from my government that the world needs a new moral architecture over all I believe that this should be the first topic to debate in our world of today, ethics, moral.

— Hugo Chavez

Maybe we can show government how to operate better as a result of better architecture. Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

Noble life demands a noble architecture for noble uses of noble men. Lack of culture means what it has always meant: ignoble civilization and therefore imminent downfall.

— Frank Lloyd Wright

Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.

— Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

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, alas!

— T. E. Lawrence

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

Even though I build buildings and I pursue my architecture, I pursue it as an artist. I deliberately keep a tiny studio. I don’t want to be an architectural firm. I want to remain an artist.

— Maya Lin

Engineering, medicine, business, architecture and painting are concerned not with the necessary but with the contingent – not with how things are but with how they might be – in short, with design.

— Herbert Simon

Poetry is not only dream and vision it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.

— Audre Lorde

The art of dancing stands at the source of all the arts that express themselves first in the human person. The art of building, or architecture, is the beginning of all the arts that lie outside the person and in the end they unite.

— Havelock Ellis

All real education is the architecture of the soul.

— William Bennett

Nothing is as dangerous in architecture as dealing with separated problems. If we split life into separated problems we split the possibilities to make good building art.

— Alvar Aalto

The details are the very source of expression in architecture. But we are caught in a vice between art and the bottom line.

— Arthur Erickson

Architecture theory is very interesting.

— David Byrne

Today’s developer is a poor substitute for the committed entrepreneur of the last century for whom the work of architecture represented a chance to celebrate the worth of his enterprise.

— Arthur Erickson

Rationalism is the enemy of art, though necessary as a basis for architecture.

— Arthur Erickson

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

I would have liked maybe to be in architecture or painting, something connected to the fine arts.

— Catherine Deneuve

The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable.

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Consider the momentous event in architecture when the wall parted and the column became.

— Louis Kahn

Architecture and building is about how you get around the obstacles that are presented to you. That sometimes determines how successful you’ll be: How good are you at going around obstacles?

— Jeremy Renner

I could have been an architect, but I don’t think I’d have been very happy. Nearly all modern architecture is a silly game as far as I can see.

— Roger Waters

I see music as fluid architecture.

— Joni Mitchell

Architecture doesn’t come from theory. You don’t think your way through a building.

— Arthur Erickson

Does an architecture to assuage the spirit have a place?

— Arthur Erickson

The new architecture of transparency and lightness comes from Japan and Europe.

— Arthur Erickson

The way of architecture is the quiet voice that underlies it and has guided it from the beginning.

— Arthur Erickson

Vitality is radiated from exceptional art and architecture.

— Arthur Erickson

We are stymied by regulations, limited choice and the threat of litigation. Neither consultants nor industry itself provide research which takes architecture forward.

— Arthur Erickson

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

If architecture is frozen music then music must be liquid architecture.

— Quincy Jones

To create architecture is to put in order. Put what in order? Function and objects.

— Le Corbusier

I probably spent the first 20 years of my life wanting to be as American as possible. Through my 20s, and into my 30s, I began to become aware of how so much of my art and architecture has a decidedly Eastern character.

— Maya Lin

I left science, then I went into art, but I approach things very analytically. I choose to pursue both art and architecture as completely separate fields rather than merging them.

— Maya Lin

The process I go through in the art and the architecture, I actually want it to be almost childlike. Sometimes I think it’s magical.

— Maya Lin

In art or architecture your project is only done when you say it’s done. If you want to rip it apart at the eleventh hour and start all over again, you never finish. I was one of those crazy creatures.

— Maya Lin

I loved logic, math, computer programming. I loved systems and logic approaches. And so I just figured architecture is this perfect combination.

— Maya Lin

Art is very tricky because it’s what you do for yourself. It’s much harder for me to make those works than the monuments or the architecture.

— Maya Lin

In my early 20s I was so miserable doing construction, I wanted something that paid money. I liked nice stuff. I liked cars and architecture, and things that cost money. I wanted to not swing a hammer, and make money… and not do stuff that was dirty. I attempted to get into comedy. I started to do stand-up, but I wasn’t very good at it.

— Adam Carolla

I’m drawn to furniture design as complete architecture on a minor scale.

— Brad Pitt

The British political system and the whole clapped out Westminster architecture, and the language that we use about politics, it’s completely unsustainable. You either decide to be part of that transition to do something different. Or you cling to old certainties.

— Nick Clegg

I got into this little habit of architecture and building. I designed a house in Colorado and one in Hawaii. The idea is supposed to be build and sell – but then I can never bring myself to sell them.

— Trey Parker

The only job that was ever of interest to me other than filmmaking is architecture.

— Christopher Nolan

I would like my architecture to inspire people to use their own resources, to move into the future.

— Tadao Ando

Any architectural project we do takes at least four or five years, so increasingly there is a discrepancy between the acceleration of culture and the continuing slowness of architecture.

— Rem Koolhaas

Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.

— Ernest Dimnet

In architecture the idea degenerated. Design allows a more direct and pleasurable route.

— Charles Eames

Post-Modernism was a reaction against Modernism. It came quite early to music and literature, and a little later to architecture. And I think it’s still coming to computer science.

— Larry Wall

Liquid architecture. It’s like jazz – you improvise, you work together, you play off each other, you make something, they make something. And I think it’s a way of – for me, it’s a way of trying to understand the city, and what might happen in the city.

— Frank Gehry

I see the Beijing National Stadium as an architectural project. I accepted Herzog and De Meuron’s invitation to collaborate on the design, and our proposal won the competition. From beginning to end, I stayed with the project. I am committed to fostering relationships between a city and its architecture.

— Ai Weiwei

The building of the architecture of a novel – the craft of it – is something I never tire of.

— John Irving

I strive for an architecture from which nothing can be taken away.

— Helmut Jahn

It’s my goal to make a building as immaterial as possible. Architecture is a very material thing. It takes a lot of resources, so why not eliminate what you don’t need as long as you’re able to achieve the same result?

— Helmut Jahn

Many of these famous architecture quotes are the result of a collection from various sources; such as newspapers, magazines, bible, other speakers, write-ups, seminars, articles and websites and every effort has been made to give credit where it is due for the material contained herein.

Most of these famous architecture quotes’ meanings are straight forward and easy to understand probably due to their simplicity or nature of their authors, and other famous architecture quotes may sound like parables or proverbs which might be difficult to understand their meanings. When you come across difficult famous architecture quotes, Please read the quote more than once or repeatedly until you get the meaning.

For some famous architecture quotes, you must think deeply and apply wisdom before you can get their meanings. I believe you will learn and apply the lessons contained in some of these famous architecture quotes in your life because some of these quotes have already influenced many peoples’ decisions and actions.

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