quote by I. M. Pei

Contemporary architects tend to impose modernity on something. There is a certain concern for history but it’s not very deep. I understand that time has changed, we have evolved. But I don’t want to forget the beginning. A lasting architecture has to have roots.

— I. M. Pei

Jaw-dropping Modern Architecture quotations

Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.


Modern architecture quote Talking about music is like dancing about architecture
Talking about music is like dancing about architecture

A modern building should derive its architectural significance solely from the vigour and consequence of its own organic proportions. It must be true to itself, logically transparent, and virginal of lies or trivialities.

Modern architecture quote Black-and-white always looks modern, whatever that word means.
Black-and-white always looks modern, whatever that word means.

A modern, harmonic and lively architecture is the visible sign of an authentic democracy.

Modern architecture is not a style, it's an attitude

To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history, but to articulate it.


Modern architecture quote Design of purely arbitrary nature cannot be expected to last long.
Design of purely arbitrary nature cannot be expected to last long.

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.

I really like the city of Vienna. I like its art, its music and its architecture. In short, I like the culture that Vienna represents. What really captures me is the period around 1900 - the time of Freud, Schnitzler and Klimt. This is the period in which the modern view of mind was born.

Modernism in architecture went hand in hand with socialist and fascist projects to rid old Europe of its hierarchical past

In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it's modern architecture.

In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it's modern architecture.


Modern architecture does not mean the use of immature new materials;

the main thing is to refine materials in a more human direction.

The only thing wrong with architecture is architects.

I could have been an architect, but I don't think I'd have been very happy.

Nearly all modern architecture is a silly game as far as I can see.

My interest has always been in an architecture which reflects the modernity of our epoch as opposed to the rethinking of historical references. My work deals with what is happening now—our techniques and materials, what we are capable of doing today.

There is a lot of interest in the arts, music, theatre, filmmaking, engineering, architecture and software design. I think we have now transitioned the modern-day version of the entrepreneur into the creative economy.


New York is the cubist, the futurist city.

It expresses in its architecture, its life, its spirit, the modern thought.

Modern Architecture died in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 15, 1972, at 3.32 p.m. (or thereabouts), when the infamous Pruitt Igoe scheme, or rather several of its slab blocks, were given the final coup de grace by dynamite.

The modern architect is, generally speaking, art's greatest enemy.

Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet.

All architecture is great architecture after sunset.


Just growing up in Columbus, which is such a special place, small town with a Fortune 500 company's headquarters, the extraordinary modern architecture. The experiences that I've had growing up in that very unique hometown has shaped me and always will shape me.

After World War II great strides were made in modern Japanese architecture, not only in advanced technology, allowing earthquake resistant tall buildings, but expressing and infusing characteristics of traditional Japanese architecture in modern buildings.

Manhattanism is the one urbanistic ideology that has fed, from its conception, on the splendors and miseries of the metropolitan condition—hyper-density—without once losing faith in it as the basis for a desirable modern culture. Manhattan's architecture is a paradigm for the exploitation of congestion.

The tall building, concentrating man in one place more densely than ever before, similarly concentrates the dilemma of our public architecture at the end of the twentieth century: whether the new forms made possible by technology are doomed by the low calculations of modern patrons and their architects.

If a dictator takes up my ideas, the resulting town will survive the political system that commissioned it and stand as a social good. Besides, modernism rather than classicism has dominated the architecture of totalitarian regimes of both the left and right.


Post-Modernism was a reaction against Modernism.

It came quite early to music and literature, and a little later to architecture. And I think it's still coming to computer science.

Yet for my part, deeply as I am moved by the religious architecture of the Middle Ages, I cannot honestly say that I ever felt the slightest emotion in any modern Gothic church.

The same way that mid century modern architecture was in the 50s, I want to be as a human being. New. Different. Challenging the old. Function over frivolity. Clean living. Clean lines.

When Oscar Niemeyer died on December 5, 2012, ten days before his 105th birthday, he was universally regarded as the very last of the twentieth century's major architectural masters, an astonishing survivor whose most famous accomplishment, Brasilia, was the climactic episode of utopian High Modern urbanism.

To work in architecture you are so much involved with society, with politics, with bureaucrats. It's a very complicated process to do large projects. You start to see the society, how it functions, how it works. Then you have a lot of criticism about how it works.


The gothic is singular in this; one seems easily at home in the renaissance; one is not too strange in the Byzantine; as for the Roman, it is ourselves; and we could walk blindfolded through every chink and cranny of the Greek mind; all these styles seem modern when we come close to them; but the gothic gets away.

Modernism', as a label, has currency in the arts, architecture, planning, landscape, politics, theology, cultural history and elsewhere.

Some authors regard morality in the same light as we regard modern architecture.

Convenience is the first thing to be looked for.

There is no sadder tale in the annals of architecture than the virtual disappearance of the defining architectural form of the Modern Movement - publicly sponsored housing.