Alex Vatavu

Which architecture inspires real empathy

The architect can work with a scale of "tension. Just as in good sculpture we see the tension of some muscles and the relaxation of others, in design there are tools to convey the state. For example, a classical column with a thickening to the bottom creates a feeling of tension in the construction, as if it's bulging with gravity, we feel it's fundamental.

The good buildings, while actually static, have a distinct visual energy. We create homes that are ready to move, or vice versa, rooted in the terrain. Cottage decor can be muscular, trim or excessive.

Like a person, a building struggles with gravity. Equilibrium can be achieved either by the even distribution of forces, or by stressing individual parts of the "body" that take the load asymmetrically, giving other parts freedom. The viewer well understands and feels the degree of this tension. This is how architecture evokes real empathy.

Practical issues of "The Secrets of Beautiful Facades"