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Coaxing a Stone
Architecture exists both in the material world and in the realm of ideas
Posted on August 1, 2023 @ 5:42PM

"You say to brick, "What do you want, brick?" 
Brick says to you, "I like an arch." If you say to brick, "Arches are expensive, and I can use a concrete lintel over an opening. What do you think of that, brick?' Brick says, 'I like an arch.'

It is important that you honor the material you use. You don't bandy it about as though to say, 'Well we have a lot of material, we can do it one way, we can do it another way.' It's not true.
~ Louis Kahn

"Passion can create drama out of inert stone." ~ Le Corbusier

Hold a stone in your hand. Feel the weight of it; feel the texture. It is a material object; you could build with stones like this. Construction is physical. Architecture is a constructed reality. But it is also an intellectual construct - and, many would suggest, an emotional and spiritual one as well. Architecture exists both in the material world and in the realm of ideas. Traveling that landscape of ideas, minds like Heidegger or Kahn occasionally ask us to accompany them beyond traditional boundaries of language. It is not about being complex or nuanced or poetic or obscure; it is about trying to be articulate within the intention of understanding, of expression. What Jim Cutler has referred to as 'Searching for True'.

"Only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build." ~ Martin Heidegger

For Heidegger, our very being is concerned with our capacity to, in his terms, dwell; our basic humanity is woven into our relationships to Building, Dwelling, Thinking. I believe True is not something that can be applied or imposed in architecture. True is revealed. True simply is.

Author: Sam Rodell

Sam has practiced as an award winning architect for forty years, and has also built many of his clients' projects.  He is licensed throughout most of the western USA and Canada, and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) which expedites registration in other states and provinces. He was the first Certified Passive House Consultant architect in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.