By: Brady Stone
Even after I correct for all the vibrancy and activity of “the construction site,” most buildings, I think, are at some point during their journey into this world MORE - I don’t know, MORE - than when they are completed. I think a lot of architects feel this way, and I suspect I do more than most.
Some of it is experiential, subjectively beautiful, and I think more commonly shared by designer, occupant and visitor alike. The different spaces that are created through temporary openings, the abstraction of building structure, the rhythm and repetition. Little moments, like light, that come through wood-framed roofs or sheets of plastic. This is all great. Bathroom wet walls, varieties of pipes twisting through space. Carpenters’ jigs. Seemingly random intersections of materials and voids – concrete, steel columns, steel studs. Things that are objectively ugly get me excited, like really excited.
In these moments, I guess I don’t see beauty, per se, but energy. I see all the intention and creativity of architects, engineers, vendors, CLIENTS. Millions of judgments, decisions, hours. The process of our physical world becomes clear - one thing having to go in before the next and sometimes none of it making sense until all the parts are present. This sequencing and arrangement is carried out by careful, considerate builders. I feel the work and quiet satisfaction of the actual tradesmen, doing all the things I can’t with care and craft (often in crappy weather). And I remember that all of this MAKING only works (or doesn’t work) because we have all combined our efforts to realize someone else’s desires, on their behalf, with their money.
Then it all gets covered, clad, concealed – and from that day on all those stories are hidden from view.