Posted on October 14th, 2010 by ryan.
When modern architects righteously abandoned ornament on buildings, they unconsciously designed buildings that were ornament. In promoting Space and Articulation over symbolism and ornament, they distorted the whole building into a duck. They substituted for the innocent and inexpensive practice of applied decoration on a conventional shed the rather cynical and expensive distortion of program and structure to promote a duck… It is now time to reevaluate the once-horrifying statement of John Ruskin that architecture is the decoration of construction, but we should append the warning of Pugin: It is all right to decorate construction but never construct decoration.
-Venturi, Learning from Las Vegas
I’ve never been able to come to terms with Venturi – he simultaneously challenges and disgusts me. It makes me feel a little like a heathen that neither wants to be baptized nor go to hell.