making of architecture, as distinguished from mere
building, is a complex task that requires intense
collaboration among a large number of people over
an extended period of time.
at any time during this process a major player breaks
the covenant and attempts to work for unilateral
advantage, the entire project is put at risk.
is the expression of the values of those who build
it. The result cannot be faked. TANSTAAFL. Because
the making of architecture is a complex task and
because it involves so many issues of various kinds:
technical, logistical, financial, social, personal
- integrity is the key ingredient for success; and,
in our culture, the aspect most likely to be compromised.
ago, I made up my mind that I wanted to produce architecture.
I am not interested in making buildings. I do not
care so much about the size or “importance” of the
project; I care about its quality and what it is
like to experience living and working within this
particular expression of human art.
nor budget determines if architecture is created,
competence and integrity does. Of the two integrity
is far more rare than raw ability.
the making of architecture all of the parties can
be exposed to considerable risk. The way the game
is usually played is to attempt to shift liability
to one another. All the conventions and contracts
are written with this aim in mind. This consumes
a great portion of the energy and resources that
could be spent on the work. It makes work too expensive.
It promotes dishonestly and cheating and the final
result reflects this broken social paradigm.
|These notes outline the elements that must be in place
if a project is to have a chance of becoming architecture.
This is intended to be a guide to making architecture
and a filter - criteria for selecting work and setting the terms for doing it. If you do not really want to make architecture
it is far better not to begin the journey than to
fail along the path. Architecture has a price. In
this sense, it is expensive. It requires an unusual level of
thought, hard work, attention to detail, imagination,
cooperation and the overcoming of a series of status
quo barriers designed to dumb everything down to
a common expression rather than the creation an unique
act of genius. Many would like to have architecture - both client and architect alike. It seems that few are willing to pay the price necessary for actually making it. A better understanding of what is required and an adequate social covenant will reduce the risks - and thus costs - considerably.
|I wrote the above words in February 2003. I do not remember what specific circumstance stimulated me to do so. This period was at the beginning of an abrupt increase in the number of projects Taylor Architecture has been asked to do. From 1952 through 2002, I list 116 Projects in my Architectural Index [link: architectural index]. As of these comments, in mid May of 2006, the list has grown to 151 with three more about ready to be added. These 35 projects constitute a great increase in design activity with three years representing over 23 percent of the total over a 54 year span. Of course, now there is more than just me doing design work. This number, however, is an accurate reflection of the general acceptance of my approach to architecture. It will also be noted that several of these projects are the same commission which has been designed two and even three times caused by the client completely changing the parameters of the work. This also is relevant to the topic at hand and is not an unusual circumstance. A few of the projects are of our own making and this reflects our determination to build for ourselves not just for others. The fact that we may be able to do so and may have to do so to house our enterprise is a measure of the same circumstance that this work is beginning to be made real.
voice of this document:
VISION STRATEGY EVALUATION
revised May 19, 2006
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Taylor 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006