Beauty or beast, the modern skyscraper is a major force with a strong magnetic field. It draws into its physical being all of the factors that propel and characterize modern civilization. The skyscraper is the point where art and the city meet.

— Ada Louise Huxtable

The most informative Ada Louise Huxtable quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.

49

Every age cuts and pastes history to suit its own purposes; art always has an ax to grind.

21

Good architecture is still the difficult, conscientious, creative, expressive planning for that elusive synthesis that is a near-contradiction in terms: efficiency and beauty.

19

What counts more than style is whether architecture improves our experience of the built world; whether it makes us wonder why we never noticed places in quite this way before.

18

New York, thy name is irreverence and hyperbole. And grandeur.

17

The skyscraper and the twentieth century are synonymous;

the tall building is the landmark of our age. ... Shaper of cities and fortunes, it is the dream, past and present, acknowledged or unacknowledged, of almost every architect.

16

Waiting is a large part of living. Great, passive, negative chunks of our time are consumed by waiting, from birth to death. Waiting is a special kind of activity - if activity is the right word for it - because we are held in enforced suspension between people and places, removed from the normal rhythms of our days and lives.

12

In New York, the impact of these concentrated superskyscrapers on street scale and sunlight, on the city's aniquated support systems, circulation, and infrastructure, on its already tenuous livability, overrides any aesthetic. ... Art becomes worthless in a city brutalized by overdevelopment.

11

Every generation tailors history to its taste.

7

Embellishment is an irresistible and consuming impulse, going back to the beginnings of human history. ... Probably the strongest motivating force is the simplest: the inability of almost everyone to ever leave well enough alone.

7

Real estate is the closest thing to the proverbial pot of gold.

7

Washington is an endless series of mock palaces clearly built for clerks.

6

About Ada Louise Huxtable

Quotes 41 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Critic
Birthday October 16

Nothing was more up-to-date when it was built, or is more obsolete today, than the railroad station.

6

All autonomous agencies and authorities, sooner or later, turn into self-perpetuating strongholds of conventional thought and practice.

5

Postmodernism is a freewheeling, unfettered, and unapologetic pursuit of style.

5

Surrogate experience and surrogate environments have become the American way of life. Distinctions are no longer made, or deemed necessary, between the real and the false; the edge usually goes to the latter, as an improved version with defects corrected - accessible and user-friendly.

5

A disaster where marble has been substituted for imagination.

4

An excellent job with a dubious undertaking, which is like saying it would be great if it wasn't awful.

3

Only a Californian would have observed that it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell the real fake from the fake fake.

3

There are two kinds of people in the world - those who have a horror of a vacuum and those with a horror of the things that fill it. Translated into domestic interiors, this means people who live with, and without, clutter.

3

If the British are a nation of shopkeepers, Americans are a nation of shoppers.

3

the search for the ultimate skyscraper goes on.

... At worst, overbuilding will make urban life unbearable. At best, we will go out in a blaze of style.

2

Really living without clutter takes an iron will .

.. This involves eternal watchfulness and that oldest and most relentless of the housewife's occupations, picking up. I have a feeling that picking up will go on long after ways have been found to circumvent death and taxes.

2

Tossed into the Secaucus graveyard are about 25 centuries of classical culture and the standards of style, elegance and grandeur that it gave to the dreams and constructions of Western man. That turns the Jersey wasteland into a pretty classy dump.

2

Some people wait constructively; they read or knit. I have watched some truly appalling pieces of needlework take form. Others - I am one of them - abandon all thought and purpose to an uneasy vegetative states.

1

The art of decoration requires the most sophisticated and self-indulgent skills.

Its aim has always been to sate the senses as gloriously as possible. ... ornament is not only a source of sensuous pleasure; it supplies a necessary kind of magic to people and places that lack it. More than just a dread of empty spaces has led to the urge to decorate; it is the fear of empty selves.

0

Every creative act draws on the past whether it pretends to or not.

It draws on what it knows. There's no such thing, really, as a creative act in a vacuum.

0

The New York Hilton is laid out with a competence that would make a computer blush.

0

Who’s afraid of the big, bad buildings? Everyone, because there are so many things about gigantism that we just don’t know. The gamble of triumph or tragedy at this scale — and ultimately it is a gamble — demands an extraordinary payoff. The trade center towers could be the start of a new skyscraper age or the biggest tombstones in the world.

0

The age of Lincoln and Jefferson memorials is over. It will be presidential libraries from now on.

0

The building is a national tragedy - a cross between a concrete candy box and a marble sarcophagus in which the art of architecture lies buried.

0

No matter what an architect may be at home, he becomes a monumentalist when he comes to Washington.

0

California ... is the place that sets the trends and establishes the values for the rest of the country; like a slow ooze, California culture spreads eastward across the land.

0

It is the rare architect who does not hope in his heart to design a great building and for whom the quest is not a quiet, consuming passion.

0

In Paris style is everything. That is traditionally understood. Every street, every structure, every shopgirl has style. The style of Parisian architecture has been proved and refined by at least three centuries of academic dictates and highly developed taste. There are few violations of this taste, and there is exemplary architectural consistency. Paris has defined the aesthetics of a sophisticated urban culture.

0

Real serious waiting is done in waiting rooms, and what they all have in common is their purpose, or purposelessness, if you will; they are places for doing nothing and they have no life of their own. ... their one constant is what might be called a decorative rigor mortis.

0

Clutter in its highest and most organized form is called collecting.

0

The perennial architectural debate has always been, and will continue to be, about art versus use, visions versus pragmatism, aesthetics versus social responsibility. In the end, these unavoidable conflicts provide architecture's essential and productive tensions; the tragedy is that so little of it rises above the level imposed by compromise, and that this is the only work most of us see and know.

0

Symbol and metaphor are as much a part of the architectural vocabulary as stone and steel.

0

One of the most basic human instincts is the need to decorate.

Nothing is exempt - the body, the objects one uses, from intimate to monumental, and all personal and ceremonial space. It is an instinct that responds ... to some deep inner urge that has been variously described as the horror of a vacuum and the need to put one's imprint on at least one small segment of the world.

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