Why should we think about the beauty of architecture

If we think of architecture separately as a mechanism for housing, storage, or production, we focus exclusively on function. That's what Le Corbusier did. Thank him for this point of view, it opened up a new field of thinking about houses.

Villa Savoy
Le Corbusier, Villa Savoy
Poissy, France.

Yet architecture is inconceivable without man. Everything created waits for the presence, or at least the gaze, of someone who can give it meaning. Architecture is in the context of people. Happy and unhappy, growing and aging. We find inspiration in what surrounds us, and more often than not we are surrounded by architecture.

Even from an age when our mother's breasts were the only things we could see, touch or smell, even then, the first discoveries we made were those of architecture. Walls reflected light, smelled, appeased us with their constant presence.

Pompeian House on the Arbat Moscow
"Pompeian House" on the Arbat, Moscow.

A story about architecture is a story about people. About what they consider good and bad, about how one should live, about aspirations and ideals.

The design of the facades surrounding a person becomes the background of his whole life. We recognize ourselves in the objects we use. The buildings one passes by, lives or works in, define one's time and place. It is easier for us to feel "here and now" surrounded by good things.

Arseny Morozov's Mansion on the Arbat

The effort required to design, procure building materials and erect a structure seems excessive for such an abstract task as beauty. And perhaps only in times of special experiences and crises, people begin to feel the support and encouragement in beautiful buildings. Of course, architecture will only bring us a modest measure of happiness. Excellent architecture will not make everyone happy, and history shows us that crimes can be committed in the house with the most beautiful facade. But we still believe that this happens contrary to the character of the dwelling, contrary to the bright and lofty intentions of the architect.

Talking about beautiful architecture begs the question, what is beautiful architecture today? Where do we find the criteria for evaluation? In what style to build? And what can architecture tell us if it is good? Let's think about that together in the near future.