It is a hopeless endeavor to make the form and content of earlier architectural epochs usable for our time; in this, even the strongest artistic talent must fail. We see repeatedly how the outstanding builders fail to achieve an effect because their work does not serve the will of the age.
Education must lead us from the irresponsible opinion to true responsible judgment. It must lead us from chance and arbitrariness to rational clarity and intellectual order. Therefore, let us guide our students over the road of discipline from materials, through function, to creative work.
The problem of architecture has always been the same throughout time. Its authentic quality is reached through its proportions, and the proportions cost nothing. In fact, most of them are proportions among things, not the things themselves. Art is almost always a question of proportions.
We do not evaluate the result but the starting point of the creative process. Precisely, this shows whether the form was discovered by starting from life, or for its own sake. That is why I consider the creative process so essential. Life for us is the decisive factor.
In addition to the wishes of the client, the position, orientation, and size of the plot also play an important role in determining the final plan of the house. The 'where' and 'how' of the exterior then follows naturally from all of that.
We refuse to recognize problems of form, but only problems of building. Form is not the aim of our work, but only the result. Form, by itself, does not exist. Form as an aim is formalism; and that we reject.
The building art is, in reality, always the spatial execution of spiritual decisions. It is bound to its times and manifests itself only in addressing vital tasks with the means of its times. A knowledge of the times, its tasks, and its means is the necessary precondition of work in the building art.
It is not architectural achievement that makes the structures of earlier times seem to us so full of significance but the circumstance that antique temples, Roman basilicas, and even the cathedrals of the Middle Ages are not the works of single personalities but creations of entire epochs.
We must understand the motives and forces of our time and analyze their structure from three points of view: the material, the functional, and the spiritual. We must make clear in what respects our epoch differs from others and in what respects it is similar.
If teaching has any purpose, it is to implant true insight and responsibility. Education must lead us from irresponsible opinion to true responsible judgement. It must lead us from chance and arbitrariness to rational clarity and intellectual order.
Where can we find greater structural clarity than in the wooden buildings of old? Where else can we find such unity of material, construction and form? here, the wisdom of whole generations is stored.
You can use up all the slums for new development. In all the cities of the world, there are large areas of these. Also, you can avoid the spread of these silly suburban houses. Chicago has thousands of them all over the place.
Architecture is always the will of the age conceived as space - nothing else. Until this simple truth is clearly recognized, the struggle over the foundation of a new architecture confident in its aims and powerful in its impact cannot be realized; until then, it is destined to remain a chaos of uncoordinated forces.