Why Architecture Matters is not a work of architectural history or a guide to the styles or an architectural dictionary, though it contains elements of all three. The purpose of Why Architecture Matters is to come to grips with how things feel to us when we stand before them, with how architecture affects us emotionally as well as intellectually”with its impact on our lives. Architecture begins to matter,” writes Paul Goldberger, when it brings delight and sadness and perplexity and awe along with a roof over our heads.” He shows us how that works in examples ranging from a small Cape Cod cottage to the vast, flowing” Prairie houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, from the Lincoln Memorial to the highly sculptural Guggenheim Bilbao and the Church of Sant’Ivo in Rome, where simple geometries . . . create a work of architecture that embraces the deepest complexities of human imagination.”
Based on decades of looking at buildings and thinking about how we experience them, the distinguished critic raises our awareness of fundamental things like proportion, scale, space, texture, materials, shapes, light, and memory. Upon completing this remarkable architectural journey, readers will enjoy a wonderfully rewarding new way of seeing and experiencing every aspect of the built world.
Paul Goldberger is America's preeminent public critic of architecture, and his wise, compassionate Why Architecture Matters sums up a lifetime spent exploring, reflecting and writing. Some of the most affecting parts of the book are drawn from his deeply personal experience, growing up in the lively streetscape of 1950s Passaic, N.J., sojourning in the architectural wonderland of Yale University, and coming to terms with the construction and destruction of the Twin Towers.