52 Great Architectural Quotes


26 Best Quotes About Design by Non-Architects

“Architecture must honor three things: Strength. Function. Beauty.” –Vitruvius

“Beauty perishes in life, but is immortal in art.” –Leonardo da Vinci

“Architecture is frozen music.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

“Architecture, / Existing in itself, and not in seeming / A something it is not, surpasses them / As substance shadow.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“When we build, let us think that we build forever.” John Ruskin

 “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” –Henry David Thoreau

“First we shape our buildings. Thereafter they shape us.” -Winston Churchill

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”Walt Disney

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” –Charles Eames

“If you think good design is expensive then you should see the cost of bad design.” –Dalf Speth

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere.” Albert Einstein

“I see music as fluid architecture.” –Joni Mitchell

“I enjoy art, architecture, museums, churches and temples; anything that gives me insight into the history and soul of the place I’m in.” –Cherie Lunghi

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” Steve Jobs

“Like in great painting and architecture, in couture, to make clothes you must eliminate, eliminate, eliminate to obtain the true sense of a line.” –Hubert de Givenchy

“Design is where science and art break even.” Mieke Gerritzen

“The fundamental failure of most graphic, product, architectural and even urban design is its insistence on serving the God of Looking-Good rather than the God of Being-Good.”Richard Saul Wurman

“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” –Jim Rohn

“Education is the architecture of the soul.” –William Bennett

“Vitality is radiated from exceptional art and architecture.” –Arthur Erickson

“Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.” –Audre Lorde

“I do speak Mandarin, and I also relate to the hunger that China has for culture and architecture and style.” –Vera Wang

“To work in architecture you are so much involved with society, with politics, with bureaucrats. It’s a very complicated process to do large projects. You start to see the society, how it functions, how it works.” Ai Weiwei

“Any product that needs a manual to work is broken.” -Elon Musk


26 Favorite Quotes by Architects

“Architecture aims at Eternity.” –Christopher Wren

 “Form ever follows function.”Louis Sullivan

louis sullivan architectural quotes


“The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.” –Frank Lloyd Wright

frank lloyd wright architectural quotes


“Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence.” –Daniel Burnham

“Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the Creator.” –Antoni Gaudi

“God is in the details.”  –Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

ludwig miles van der rohe


“The room is there for the human being – not the human being for the room.” El Lissitzky

“Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.” Le Corbusier

Le Courbusier


“I try to create homes, not houses.” Louis Kahn

Louis Kahn architectural quotes


“I tell you, it is easier to build a grand opera or a city center than to build a personal house.” Alvar Aalto

“When I’m working on a problem, I never think about its beauty, I just think about how to solve the problem, but when I finish it, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it’s wrong.” Richard Buckminster Fuller

“One of the great beauties of architecture is that each time, it is like life starting all over again.” Renzo Piano

Architecture is an expression of values.” Norman Foster

“As an architect you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” Norman Foster

Norman Foster


“Each new situation requires a new architecture.” –Jean Nouvel

“The essence of architecture is form and space, and light is the essential element to the key to architectural design, probably more important than anything. Technology and materials are secondary.” –I. M. Pei

“I see my buildings as pieces of cities, and in my designs I try to make them into responsible and contributing citizens.” Cesar Pelli

“The dialogue between client and architect is about as intimate as any conversation you can have, because when you’re talking about building a house, you’re talking about dreams.” –Robert A. M. Stern

“Architecture is like a mythical fantastic. It has to be experienced. It can’t be described. We can draw it up and we can make models of it, but it can only be experienced as a complete whole.” Maya Lin

Maya Lin architectural quotes


“Architecture is one of the art forms best able to improve and revitalize cities both artistically and functionally.” –Santiago Calatrava

Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.”  Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry


“Architecture is not based on concrete and steel, and the elements of the soil. It’s based on wonder.” Daniel Libeskind

“I believe that architecture, as anything else in life, is evolutionary. Ideas evolve; they don’t come from outer space and crash into the drawing board.” –Bjarke Ingels

“Saving on your house by skipping the design is like saving on your wedding cake by skipping the recipe.” Ross Cann

ross cann


“Architecture is about experience: not only visual but also what you can touch, what you can feel.” –Ma Yansong

“Some people think architecture is about the genius sketch; I don’t. Great architecture is a collaboration among a lot of people over a long period of time.” –Joshua Prince-Ramus


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