ruminations about architecture and design

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

that's not a house, that's a home

The problem with older buildings is that they're old. Now, before anyone starts attacking the circular logic that is the hallmark of this blog (when there is any logic at all), let's consider the ways in which we assign value to certain things. Age is credited with imparting character, and it correlates with scarcity, which in turn increases cost in the right marketplace. But age implies deterioration for human made things, and deterioration creates a dilemma, for a certain aspect of character depends on it. Age implies uncertainty--when will this break? becomes a constant question.

Architecture outlives expectations with a bare minimum of care and maintenance, but age inexorably wears everything down. We rarely say that a building collapsed because of age--we assign a more proximal cause--and deny the cumulative impact of years of bad decisions.

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