Where Is the Beauty in Buildings?

By |2019-01-11T16:18:22-05:00January 11th, 2019|

A recent essay by Radomir Tylecote argued that we have turned our backs on the architectural traditions of our Western heritage, and in the process lost our connection to our own history and the generations that built it.[1] Dr. Tylecote argues well, and makes a strong case for reintroducing beauty into architecture; but his [...]

A Candid Conversation With Architect Allan Greenberg

By |2018-09-28T23:15:10-05:00September 28th, 2018|

Editor's Note: Andrew Balio of the Future Symphony Institute interviews architect Allan Greenberg, whose  philosophy of "canonical classicism" challenges the postmodernist school of architecture.  ANDREW BALIO: Among America’s music schools, Rice University’s Shepard School of Music is one of the standouts, up there with Curtis, Yale, and Julliard. And both Julliard’s and Yale’s areas of greatest [...]

The Problem With Architectural “Genius”

By |2018-09-19T14:24:22-05:00September 19th, 2018|

The pursuit of genius in architecture is what has most contributed to the unstitching of our urban fabric, giving us those buildings in outlandish shapes and unsightly materials that take a chunk of the city and make it into somewhere else... Cooper Union New Academic Building For the truly great projects, architects are [...]

Greetings From Asbury Park: The Revival of a City on the Shore

By |2018-09-13T10:10:28-05:00September 13th, 2018|

Asbury Park postcard, sometime between 1930-1945. When I was a teenager, in the late 1990s, Asbury Park, New Jersey had fallen on hard times. The kinetic energy of the small shore city—Ferris wheels and carousels, breezy counters with young people selling waffle cones and hamburgers to beachgoers in the salty air—was largely gone. [...]

Anthropological Architecture

By |2018-08-21T22:15:45-05:00August 21st, 2018|

We don’t often stop and consider the elements, material and otherwise, that makeup architecture and urban spaces. Often, we think of them as simply the background against which we live, the setting for the drama of our human existence... “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” —Winston Churchill People love good streets. Americans who [...]

The Mysterious Roman Who Shaped Modern Cities

By |2019-03-05T13:29:31-05:00August 16th, 2018|

A voice from a distant past, the Roman Vitruvius offers many of the same assets to urban planners and cultural historians that he does to architects. His book offers a glimpse into the urban world of a decisive moment in classical antiquity—and into the mind of a man who quite literally helped to shape it… [...]

Saving Architectural Treasures of the Old South

By |2019-03-05T14:31:27-05:00July 27th, 2018|

The South’s combination of architectural preservation with genealogy and with the documentation of human toil has often resulted in a much richer testament of the past and a more balanced view of the region’s history… In the film version of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, after Atlanta has been burned and Scarlett O’Hara is [...]

A Long & Living Tradition: Architecture, Ancient and Modern

By |2018-06-19T23:48:25-05:00June 22nd, 2018|

Leon Battista Alberti’s work remains a guidebook for those who value the traditions of both classical and post-Renaissance European architecture. To read Alberti today is to discover an essential link in that long and living tradition… Like a signal from the past, Leon Battista Alberti’s De re aedificatoria—On the Art of Building, completed in [...]

Site & Sound, Size & Scale: How to Build Humane Concert Halls

By |2018-06-21T21:56:40-05:00June 21st, 2018|

We spend so much time in these giant buildings—shopping malls, monstrous office complexes, big box stores. Classical music should bring people together in a more social, intimate way. We’re hoping to design the whole concert experience from the beginning to be smaller. It’s about shrinking the scale, bringing classical music into the human scale… [...]

The Architecture of Servitude and Boredom

By |2019-04-04T12:04:24-05:00April 1st, 2018|Tags: |

Do we descend steadily, and now somewhat speedily, toward a colossal architecture of unparalleled dreariness, and a colossal state of unparalleled uniformity? Will all of us labor under a profound depression of spirits because of the boring and servile architecture about us? And will the society now taking form in America resign itself to [...]

The Decline of Western Civilization in 10 Pictures

By |2018-03-09T11:37:02-05:00February 27th, 2018|

Without any ado, here are ten pictures that convey how far Western Civilization has fallen over the last centuries. 1. Mozart conducting one of his own settings of the Mass, circa 1780; modern church service with rock band   2. Crowd watching baseball game, early twentieth century; crowd watching baseball game, early twenty-first century   3. St. [...]

Liturgy and the Harmony of the Arts

By |2018-09-24T14:26:50-05:00October 7th, 2017|

The liturgy properly offered in a suitable building offers a harmonization of the arts and culture as no other human experience can do... On Advent Sunday last year, we dedicated the new church in our small parish in South Carolina. The impact of worshipping in a beautiful temple rather than a fan-shaped suburban auditorium is [...]

The Godless City: Until Buildings Have Faces

By |2019-01-04T11:40:30-05:00June 5th, 2017|

When the modern city enshrines the temporariness of facelessness as a permanently utilitarian way of life, then something has gone dreadfully wrong… The Aesthetics of Architecture by Roger Scruton (Princeton University Press, 2013) One of the principal observations of Sir Roger Scruton about the modern city is an architectural observation. Modern architecture expresses the [...]