Friday, April 29, 2005

On Architecture

Why, in America, do we so mistrust the arch? We even put them down--McDonald's being the "golden arches"--yuck. Is there anything more beautiful in architecture than an arch? A marriage of straight lines and curves, able to be repeated row upon row: look at the colisseum. A fantastic rhythm of rises and falls, gentle as the sea.

And the dome--the arch in 360 degree splendor. We just don't use it. We love steel and glass and poking right angles, and we forget the embrace of a curve.

And in the poking we forget-- we forget the holiness of a dome: its similarity to the dome of the heavens above, the marvel of something so big and open floating above us, rising on its own strength. And we lose that holiness, and our lives become the streamlined and functional architecture all around us. I am a three-bedroom ranch. I am a cube at the bottom of an apartment building. I am a cardboard box cluttering the corner by the park. I have lost my beauty. I have lost my meaning. I have lost my soul.

No comments: