There is a deep human need for beauty
and if you ignore that need in architecture
your buildings will not last.
Roger Scruton, Philosopher
I recently posted a picture of 3 Mini’s in progress on Instagram, and a comment came back simply saying “Buildings!!!” I didn’t know how to interpret this single word comment with its 3 exclamation points. No emoji’s and knowing the person commenting didn’t give me any further clues as to its meaning. Was it that I had buildings in all 3 (which I did) or that I had painted the buildings first (which I had)? Or was it something completely different? I decided to answer something like ” yes, I’m fascinated by buildings”.
In thinking about it after, I would have been more accurate if I had answered “Yes, I’m an admirer of buildings that unleash my appreciation of beauty and sense of wonder”. Appreciation for those who designed, built and maintain these structures. Appreciation for the moment of taking in their beauty. Wonder at how they were built or even conceived of in the first place. Wonder at the depth of human creativity. Wonder at how these beautiful structures fit harmoniously into their surroundings.
Like in Positano, where the houses and hotels are built in different shapes and colours, and in seemingly haphazard order, climb the hills to the blue sky. Nestled between them are tiny gardens filled with wisteria, bougainvillea and lemon trees. No single building is the star, but together their collective beauty is breath-taking.
Or in New York City, where a single building IS the star! It’s unusual triangular shape may not be astonishing, except that it’s 20 stories high and only 6.5′ wide at its northern base point. Staring at it on a blustery day, I wondered how it didn’t blow over because it was so skinny. And its facade is also very beautiful, especially up near its crown. I sketched it quickly on that blustery day, and decided to render it later as a Mini painting set on a sunny summer day.
So, yeah… “Buildings!!!” I still have no idea what that Instagram commenter truly meant, but I’d like to think that, like me, he was an admirer of the buildings that inspire all of us to keep creating!