“Place” is an interesting word for Architects. It means so much more than a location, a position or even a destination. “Place” is what we create. My own favorite places are almost always churches. I was never terribly religious growing up, and I’m not religious now, though I do have a strong faith. But churches, especially old well built and well designed churches always fascinated me. Two of my favorites to visit are The Cathedral Basillica of Saint Augustine in St. Augustine, Florida and The Cathedral of Saint John The Baptist in Savannah, Georgia. These two places spring to mind because I spent most of my adult life in both Jacksonville, Florida (very close to St. Augustine) and Savannah, Georgia (attending SCAD).
What is always so striking about buildings like these is the immediate sense of “place”, or the feeling that you have entered not a building but a living, breathing thing that has life to it. Many architects, I’m sure, can attest to buildings feeling “cold” or “impersonal”. These are not “places”, these are merely buildings that serve a function and are usually torn down in less than one generation.
Real Architecture creates “place”. Real Architecture creates a building with purpose, with meaning, with an animus that lasts long after we are gone.