What are buildings for?

Tate Liverpool, Albert DockI like this quote from modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, (misattributed on the Liverpool 08 website to Miles van der Rohe):

"We must be as familiar with the functions of our buildings as with our materials…We must learn what a building can be, what it should be, and also what it must not be…And just as we acquaint ourselves with the materials, just as we must understand the functions, so we must become familiar with the pyschological and spiritual factors of our day. No cultural activity is possible otherwise, for we are dependent on the spirit of our time."

With this in mind, and taking Liverpool as a City in Transition as the theme, a whole programme of events is planned between May and November of this year, including talks, debates, walks, exhibitions and local and international performance, all connected to architecture and city development. More details will be posted on the Liverpool08 website in due course. For a historical context on the relationship between man and the built environment, and a fascinating read, I found Richard Sennett's Flesh and Stone both absorbing and accessible. 


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