ruminations about architecture and design

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

future proofing (hubris and architecture edition)

I glanced at a recent article in a magazine for architects. It was about "future proofing" buildings. It made me smile. Buildings that last a long time tend to be lucky. Decisions made by the original designer and builder focus on the needs and wants of the original client. If future clients are satisfied by those decisions that's a happy coincidence. Some aspects of building geometry and detailing enhance preservation--like high ceilings, robust materials, and good looks--but for every ten buildings that exhibit those qualities, nine are no longer with us. Also, ordinary buildings with annoying features can persist a long time.

Geography is the most important factor when it comes to the longevity of architecture. If you build close to the ocean, the building is doomed. If you build in a remote region that experiences economic or ecological collapse, then the building is doomed. If you build something small in a city that is growing rapidly, then the building is doomed.

No comments:

Post a Comment