The Mysterious

12 Jan

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.  – Albert Einstein

I think this quote explains why some architecture is so powerful. When you get that perfect combination of functionality with the mysterious you can create an amazing building. The mysterious doesn’t have to be as crazy as hidden doors, it can be as simple as Crown Hall with it’s mysterious hanging roof.

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3 Responses to “The Mysterious”

  1. Laurie January 12, 2012 at 12:54 PM #

    Crown Hall as mysterious…now that is an interesting concept…it did always have that image of being "no man's land" if you weren't an architecture student…

    If anything it becomes a greater mystery when the school year ends, and the summer begins. The desks are all cleared away and the space becomes a large empty canvas open to whatever ends up filling the void. My favorite filler was the Andy Warhol Silver Balloons, now that definitely added to the mystery of what possibilities this building is capable of fulfilling.

    You made the comment of how the mystery can be as simple as Crown Halls hanging roof, but the mystery isn't only in the details, (maybe that's the underlying thought behind that saying "God is in the Details") the mystery is the building's essence, because truthfully Architecture is the perfect combination of art and science (which coming full circle back to the quote from Mr. Einstein) has their source in Mystery.

  2. Ryan February 3, 2012 at 8:53 AM #

    I think these thoughts hit an interesting chord about why architecture can be so amazing. Some people look at the overall picture of a building while others marvel at the details. Some people enjoy large scale experiences, while others are delighted by the experience at a simple moment of some kind. I think, as you said Laurie and as Einstein hints at, architecture is a blend of art and science that makes this mysterious dance absolutely beautiful.

    Aric, I love your reference to Crown Hall's seemingly floating roof. It's so "mysterious" because it defies our "normal" understanding of the built environment, therefore making the mystery so beautiful and enjoyable. And like Laurie's comments on function of Crown, it's difference from the norm means that experiences are also mysterious (for both outsiders and those who use the building). I love this combination of mystery!

  3. Ryan February 3, 2012 at 8:53 AM #

    After reading this I wondered…what if this happened more often in architecture? What if the "Crown Hall-esque" mystery happened in almost all of our architecture? I was thinking that because I wondered how we could turn the popular warehouse-like commercial buildings and cookie cutter houses into more valuable experiences…but then I wondered this: If we applied this "mysterious" concept to almost everything, would that take away the mystery? Or would it expand peoples' minds to new possiblities, therefore making them intrigued by everyday architecture rather than just giving it a glimpse?

    I think this is a fantastic quote, thanks for posting!

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