Creating architectural value through aesthetics

Creating architectural value through aesthetics

Humans strive to explain the inexplicable. Our spirituality becomes religion. Equity becomes law. And what enchants us becomes aesthetics, and aesthetics is reduced to “style” in the fine arts and architecture. Describing and then defining aesthetics allows us to judge and hopefully control what excites us: “Styles may change, details may come and go, but the general demands of aesthetic judgment are permanent.” –Roger Scruton

But the instant pleasure we sometimes feel when we hear, taste, think, or see parts of our experience is unreasonable in its apprehension. We try to create value in our results by defining them beyond experience – it’s aesthetics.

Thorncrown Chapel, 1980, E. Fay Jones, architect, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, USA.  Rejected or validated as Mutual Insurance Building, 1937, Joze Plecnik, architect Ljubjana, Slovenia.  Rejected or validated as Insurance Building, 1937, Joze Plecnik, architect Ljubjana, Slovenia. Rejected or validated as “post moderne” – mais dans le ventre de 1937 High Modernist Europe. Image © bozac / Alamy” width=”125″/>Christ Church Cathedral, 2021, architect Duo Dickinson, Hartford, Connecticut, USA.  Rejected or validated as White Tree, 2014, Sou Fujimoto, architects, Montpellier, France, Rejected or validated as “biophilic” – when it has the unbearable whiteness of being.  Image © Nils Koenning+5

Art is the imposition of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic pleasure is the recognition of the pattern.– Alfred North Whitehead

Mutual Insurance Building, 1937, Joze Plecnik, architect Ljubjana, Slovenia.  Rejected or validated as
Mutual Insurance Building, 1937, Joze Plecnik, architect Ljubjana, Slovenia. Rejected or validated as “post modern” – but in the womb of 1937 High Modernist Europe. Image © bozac / Alamy

Humans want to know the “why” of every unknown, whether it’s quantum mechanics or the New Testament. In the things we create, humans yearn to capture the pleasure of beauty that is simply there. Rather than accepting the results we feel every day, humanity tries to invent the joy given to us, and channel its motivations and meanings. Often with great success.

In the world there is no aesthetic plane, not even the aesthetic plane of good. –Clarice Lispector

Thorncrown Chapel, 1980, E. Fay Jones, architect, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, USA.  Rejected or validated as
Thorncrown Chapel, 1980, E. Fay Jones, architect, Eureka Springs, Arkansas, USA. Rejected or validated as “Arts et Métiers” – although inspired by the Sainte-Chapelle church in Paris, France. Image © brad_holt

Aesthetics is a moving target, with logics and values ​​of our determinations as variable as any other intellectual construction. “The Big Bang” or “Original Sin” are as valid as “Modernism” or “Classicism” to describe the meaning of what we ultimately cannot define. Our buildings are just the greatest manifestation of the hopes and faith that each of us has and that are part of us.

Nothing is perfect, the world is not perfect. But he’s there for us, trying the best he can; that’s what makes it so beautiful. –Hiromu Arakawa

When architects use aesthetics to define their results, it’s a conundrum: either we end or we begin with the judgments we apply to ourselves. When we seek an objective aesthetic based on the idiosyncrasy of perception, the joy of beauty is lost in the value of control.

White Tree, 2014, Sou Fujimoto, architects, Montpellier, France, Rejected or validated as “biophilic” – when it has the unbearable whiteness of being.  Image © Nils Koenning
White Tree, 2014, Sou Fujimoto, architects, Montpellier, France, Rejected or validated as “biophilic” – when it has the unbearable whiteness of being. Image © Nils Koenning

Ultimately, what we build is just who we are. In hindsight, the rationalization of the joy found all around us asks for the simple truth that we did not create this world, much less ourselves. If we could, we would control what brings us joy – and thus eliminate what we fear. Ultimately, we don’t have that control. If we did, every building would be a sunset or a baby’s smile, and death wouldn’t have a sting. But aesthetics, religion or law do not determine what is beautiful in our lives.

Art is becoming so specialized that it is comprehensible only to artists, and they complain bitterly of the public’s indifference to their work. The audience, far behind, looks puzzled, loses interest and turns away. — Wassily Kandinsky

Christ Church Cathedral, 2021, architect Duo Dickinson, Hartford, Connecticut, USA.  Rejected or validated as
Christ Church Cathedral, 2021, architect Duo Dickinson, Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Rejected or validated as “historical preservation” – despite abstraction of 1827 curves. Image © Duo Dickinson

This article is part of ArchDaily Topics: Aesthetics, proudly brought to you by Vitrocsa the original minimalist windows since 1992. Vitrocsa’s goal is to merge indoors and outdoors creatively.

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