Is Adaptability More Important Than Art in Architecture?

by | Aug 13, 2010 | architecture, Arts, Culture, Green Living, Uncategorized

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There are all sorts of debates about architecture. Should houses in a neighborhood all look similar to give the area a sense of cohesion? Is a diversity of styles more desirable? Is the architecture of the past best? Should architecture be more concerned with the future instead? Is architecture about art? Functionality? A building’s relationship to its surrounding environment? Its climate? All of the above?

Sarasota residents love to engage in hearty debates about our fair town/city, and issues surrounding architecture and development are always hot button. Our own neighborhood, Laurel Park, has seen sweeping changes over the past several decades, and is constantly working to find the right balance of development and preservation, of urbanism and village life, of past and future. An article that might be of interest to locals who find themselves concerned with these things is excerpted below…

Is Adaptability More Important Than Art in Architecture?


Something we see every day falls into the background and becomes part of the mundane.  We drive down familiar roads, past the same buildings and rarely notice the things that amazed us the first time we saw them.  I hate to upset my artist friends but that also happens with art.

Recently a friend of mine did an extensive remodel of his apartment.  I know that he is an art lover so I wondered if he was going to buy some new art to go with his updated decor.  “No.  My friend Kenny has a warehouse full of his art that he is tired of and has had in storage for so long so he said that I should just go in there and use what I want.”  Original works of art, costing thousands of dollars losing their impact and being put in storage is just part of what it means to be a work of art, except in architecture.

What happens when you can’t take that art down?  What happens when the piece of art is a monster-sized structure that dazzled the eye because of its size, but now fades into the background?  Can the next generation of users adapt it to their needs?

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