“Architecture is music in space, as it were a frozen music” – Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling
You’re standing in the main lobby. The doors open and you enter. A few more file in, it’s early. They’re all headed to their cubicles.
The doors close.
And then it starts. The music. Well, at least I’m sure someone calls this crap music. But…what…what is my foot doing? Damn it, I recognize this tune. It’s a Kenny G rendition of Pink Flloyd’s The Wall. I can’t help it, I’m humming along to the slaying of a great song. Is that guy whistling?
The doors open.
Oh thank God. I’m outta here!
Yeah, we’ve all been there. Don’t deny it, you like muzak just as much as the next guy. It’s like coming up on a train wreck – you can’t NOT look.
Architecture is like that too – you can’t not look. It’s a musical melody. There are good melodies and bad melodies. Even some that don’t make any sense at all. But whether the melody is good or bad, architecture, like music, is a composition, an activity, a coming together of various parts to make a whole. Spiro Kostof put it best when he said “Architecture is a social act and the material theater of human activity.”
We may think of architecture as being this static thing, this immoveable Goliath, but in reality architecture is a play, a symphony of light and sound and smell and even taste. It is at once sculpture, science, painting, music and light.
Architecture, as Frank Lloyd Wright put it, is the mother art. An architect draws from any source that inspiration that he/she can use to create, to mold and to shape civilization in a balance of form and light. We can’t escape it. It’s never out of sight or out of mind.