'Extreme Building'

Posted by Piers Cawley on Aug 8, 2003

Our experience as contractors, engineers and architects during the last 15 years has proved one thing over and over again: The things placed on drawings are inevitably - always - wrong in many particulars. Drawings serve as an important rough sketch of something that will be built, but must be executed with constant attention to room shape, light, wall and ceiling detail, openings - above all to the feelings which arise in each place, in the construction, as it is taking shape. These feelings are too complicated to predict and cannot be predicted. When a building is built from plans that are conceived on the drawing board and then simply built, the result is sterile at best - silly most of the time - and sometimes unthinkably bad. This is something familiar in virtually all large buildings that have been built since 1950. It is inevitable, given the process of construction used to build them. And it is inevitable that this process must lead to unsatisfactory results.

– Christopher Alexander, Gary Black & Miyoko Tsutsui The Mary Rose Museum

Another installment in my ongoing series of reviews of books that Amazon will take an age to deliver.