Jake helpfully provided some useful information for his chosen theme this week: Architecture – the practice of building design and its resulting products; customary usage refers only to those designs and structures that are culturally significant. Architecture is to building as literature is to the printed word. Vitruvius, a 1st-century BC Roman, wrote encyclopedically about architecture, and the English poet Sir Henry Wotton was quoting him in his charmingly phrased dictum: “Well building hath three conditions: Commoditie, Firmenes, and Delight.” More prosaically, one would say today that architecture must satisfy its intended uses, must be technically sound, and must convey aesthetic meaning. But the best buildings are often so well constructed that they outlast their original use. They then survive not only as beautiful objects, but as documents of the history of cultures, achievements in architecture that testify to the nature of the society that produced them. These achievements are never wholly the work of individuals. Architecture is a social art.
With Jake’s comments in mind, especially the last part about architecture being a social art, I’m sharing some photos of a friend’s home. The home in question is all that remains of London’s Christ Church – the tower. The footprint of the original church, bombed in the blitz, is now a garden open to anyone who wishes to take time out from the bustle of city life. It was originally designed and built by Sir Christoper Wren. Now, in the 20th century the inside of the tower has been completely remodeled by our friend and an architect and constitutes a very comfortable home on several levels, only a hop, skip and a jump away from St Paul’s Cathedral, another inspiring and inspired piece of architecture, also designed by Sir Christopher Wren.