Can’t We Design Buildings to Look Like They Used To?

Can’t We Design Buildings to Look Like They Used To?

Short answer: Sure we can. But everything will always bear the mark of its own time.

Long answer: Sticking with something that we know works is a good strategy. Lots of old buildings and cities function extraordinarily well. As a rule it’s dumb to replace them with something else. And modern times don’t necessarily demand modern buildings. In many cases it’s easy to live a modern lifestyle in a renovated building. The problem with creating new buildings and cities that look like old ones is not imitation per se—we’ve learned to deal with much bigger lies than that. But the charm of old cities runs deep below the surface. Once we’ve learned to really understand old buildings and cities, we can recreate their qualities in other forms. Buildings are resources; projects are opportunities.

This short excerpt was taken from Rasmus Wærn & Gert Wingårdh's new book, "What is Architecture? And 100 Other Questions." This week, we're sharing seven questions from the book, with one new excerpt released each day. "What is Architecture? And 100 Other Questions" will be on sale starting September 1st.

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Cite: Rasmus Wærn & Gert Wingårdh. "Can’t We Design Buildings to Look Like They Used To?" 29 Aug 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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