Nice reflection here on Gaudi’s “vegetable-like” Sagrada Familia (!) and the virtues of architectural patience. Jonathan Glancey of the Guardian writes:

Worthwhile architecture, whether a home or a cathedral, has its seasons. There is no ultimate need to hurry its making, while the very making of a building is just as important as its day-to-day use. An economy, meanwhile, can be boosted as much by having skilled craft workers shaping thoughtful buildings as it might by people shopping gormlessly in rushed-up shopping malls. Architecture – real, true and beautiful architecture in the service of our spirit and senses as well as our everyday needs – is the end result of contented producers rather than dissatisfied consumers.

Today, we treat architecture as if it was a throwaway consumer “good”. We should learn to slow down. Rome wasn’t built in day, nor was St Peter’s.

This relates to the economic impact of rehabilitation as well as 100-year-long construction projects. Paying locals to rehab historic buildings injects more money into the local economy than spending the same amount on new materials, where the money usually goes out of city/state to a big-box retailer. It also provides more people jobs for longer!

[Photo: Sagrada Familia, summer 2011. By author]

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