200 Inspiring Architecture Quotes

Last Updated: December 21, 2022 by Team

What exactly is architecture?

To put it simply, architecture is the art or science of building. More specifically, the art or practice of designing and building structures, especially those in which people plan to live.

One of the most popular types of architecture is that of the Greek and Classical Roman styles. The timeline for this type of architecture was from 850 BC to 476 AD, consisting of many columns. Structures that fit this type of architecture are the Roman Colosseum and the Acropolis complex in Athens.

Another type of architecture that is easy to spot is Gothic Architecture. This style was popular for hundreds of years, from 1150 to c. 1530. This style started in France (think Notre Dame) and spread throughout the continent. You can spot this architectural style because of these three distinct features: sharply pointed arches, ribbed and vaulted columns, and flying buttresses.

You might also hear people talk about Baroque (Late 16th Century to 18th Century), Neoclassical (18th Century to early 19th Century), and Victorian (1837-1901).

There are all kinds of inspirational quotes about architecture out there. Architecture Quotes are a great way of expressing your interests and opinions in your portfolio, using ideologies explained by visionaries preaching them. Iconic architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Le Corbusier became famous for their intuitive thinking, out-of-the-box approach, and stunning projects. However, the legacies they entrust us with are far greater than that. It’s perhaps their words of wisdom that inspire us the most.

Today we collected the most constructive architecture quotes about architecture and architectural design. All of these quotes can be used in architecture, and some of the sections are famous architecture quotes by well-known architects and feature scientists, authors, and other artists.

These words from architecture and design legends will help inspire you in your next project.

200 Quotes About Architecture From Famous Architects

Top 10 Architecture Quotes

“An architect’s designs must refer to the unquestionable perfection of the body’s symmetry and proportions. If a building is to create a sense of eurythmy, it is essential that it mirrors these natural laws of harmony and beauty.” – Vitruvius

“I like ruins because what remains is not the total design, but the clarity of thought, the naked structure, the spirit of the thing.” – Tadao Ando

“Life is architecture, and architecture is the mirror of life.” – I. M. Pei

“One of the great beauties of architecture is that each time, it is like life starting all over again.” – Renzo Piano

“The architect represents neither a Dionysian nor an Apollinian condition: here it is the mighty act of will, the will which moves mountains, the intoxication of the strong will, which demands artistic expression. The most powerful men have always inspired the architects; the architect has always been influenced by power.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“The events of human life, whether public or private, are so intimately linked to architecture that most observers can reconstruct nations or individuals in all the truth of their habits from the remains of their monuments or from their domestic relics.” – Honore de Balzac

“There is a danger when every building has to look spectacular; to look like it is changing the world. I don’t care how a building looks if it means something, not to architects, but to the people who use it.” – David Chipperfield

“We shape our buildings: thereafter they shape us.” – Winston Churchill

“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” – R. Buckminster Fuller

“Good buildings come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design.” – Stephen Gardiner

Architecture is not based on concrate and steel and the elements of the soil. It's based on wonder. Daniel Libeskind

What Is Architecture?

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“Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.” – Mies van de Rohe

“Architecture is the triumph of human imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put man into possession of his own Earth. It is at least the geometric pattern of things, of life, of the human and social world. It is at best that magic framework of reality that we sometimes touch upon when we use the word order.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Architecture is the triumph of human imagination over materials, methods, and men, to put a man into possession of his own earth.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Architecture is the stage on which we live our lives.” – Mariam Kamara

“Architecture is the reaching out for the truth.” – Louis Kahn

“Architecture is the plant fertilizer of our lives; it is the way to be a big, great-tasting tomato.” – Robert Sullivan

“Architecture is the learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.” – Le Corbusier

“Architecture is the art of how to waste space.” – Philip Johnson

“Architecture is the alpha principle of all arts” – Louis Ferdinand Celine

“Architecture is really about well-being. On the one hand it’s about shelter, I think that people want to feel good in a space… but it’s also about pleasure.” – Zaha Hadid

“Architecture is not based on concrete and steel, and the elements of the soil. It’s based on wonder.” – Daniel Libeskind

“Architecture is not about space but about time.” – Vito Acconel

“Architecture is like a mythical fantastic. It has to be experienced. It can’t be described. We can draw it up and we can make models of it, but it can only be experienced as a complete whole.” – Maya Lin

“Architecture is inhabited sculpture.” – Constantin Brancusi

“Architecture is basically a container of something. I hope they will enjoy not so much the teacup, but the tea.” – Yoshio Taniguchi

“Architecture is an expression of values.” – Norman Foster

“Architecture is about people.” – Francis Kere

“Architecture is a way of thinking about the world very similar in structure to writing a book, since both disciplines represent the same field and domain..” – Rem Koolhaas

“Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” – Julia Morgan Road

“Architecture is a learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light.” – Le Corbusier

“Architecture is a dangerous mix of power and importance.” – Rern Koolhaas

“Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.” – Ernest Dimnet

“Architecture starts where you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins.” – Ludwig Mies van der rohe

“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” – Frank Gehry

“Architecture never derived its force from stability of culture, but rather from the expression of those moments when that sense of stability slipped.” – Mark Wigley

“Architecture itself can not make a more equitable world… but we can contribute with specific actions.” – Mariam Kamara

“Architecture can’t fully represent the chaos and turmoil that are part of the human personality, but you need to put some of that turmoil into the architecture, or it isn’t real.” – Frank Stella

“Architecture begins where engineering ends.” – Walter Gropius

“Architecture arouses sentiments in man. The architect’s task, therefore, is to make those sentiments more precise.” – Adolf Loos

“Architecture Aims At Eternity.” – Christopher Wren

“Architects spend an entire life with this unreasonable idea that you can fight against gravity.” – Renzo Piano

“Architects can’t force people to connect, it can only plan the crossing points, remove barriers and make the meeting places useful and attractive.” – Denise Scott

“Architect. One who drafts a plan of your house, and plans a draft of your money.” – Ambrose Bierce

“All architecture is great architecture after sunset; perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art, like the art of fireworks.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

“All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” – Philip Johnson

“Among the planets of the arts, architecture is the dark side of the moon.” – Bruno Zevi

ARCHITECTURE Architecture (n.) is whatever in a building does not point to utility.

Famous Architecture Quotes

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“When an architect is asked what his best building is, he usually answers, ‘the next one’.” – Emilio Ambasz

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

“The architect’s role is to make the mythic real.” – Sotirios Kotoulas

“People ignore design that ignores people.” – Frank Chimero

“I work from the inside out.” – Frank Ghery

“I am still learning.” – Michelangelo

“A design isn’t finished until someone is using it.” – Brenda Laurel

“A room is not a room without natural light.” – Louis Kahn

“An idea is salvation by imagination.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistakes.” – Luis Barragan

“As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” – Norman Foster

“Beauty perishes in life, but is immortal in art.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“By dint of building well, you get to be a good architect.” – Aristotle

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” – Albert Einstein

“Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.”

“Everything is designed. Few things are designed well.” – Brian Reed

“For the most part things never get built the way they were drawn” – Maya Lin

“Form ever follows function.” – Louis H. Sullivan

“Freedom is from within.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“God is in the details.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“Good architecture is like a good therapy session, a good marriage, a good poem – gently and almost invisibly allowing you to be you, as flawed and as beautiful as you are.” – Robert Sullivan

“Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.” – Joe Sparano

“Hell, there are no rules here; We’re trying to accomplish something.” – Thomas Edison

“I believe that architecture is a pragmatic art. To become art it must be built on a foundation of necessity” – Ma Yansong

“I call architecture frozen music.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“I love my job. What would I retire to?” – Richard Rogers

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau

“If you weren’t an optimist, it would be impossible to be an architect.” – Norman Foster

“I’m convinced that without bad design, the world would be a far less stimulating place; we would have nothing to marvel over and nothing to be nostalgic about.” – Carrie Phillips

“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.” – David Allan Coe

“It is therefore indisputable that the limbs of architecture are derived from the limbs of man.” – Michelangelo

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere.” – Albert Einstein

“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Practice safe design: Use a concept.” – Petrula Vrontikis

“Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design.” – Charles Eames

“Simple things become complicated when you expect too much.” – Wilson Kanadi

“The architecture we remember is that which never consoles or comforts us” – Peter Eisenman

“The difference between good and bad architecture is the time you spend on it.” – David Chipperfield

“The most beautiful house in the world is the one that you build for yourself.” – Witold Rybzynski

“The most innovative designers consciously reject the standard option box and cultivate an appetite for thinking wrong.” – Marty Neumeier

“The room is there for the human being – not the human being for the room.” – El Lissitzky

“There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.” – Antonio Gaudi

“To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it.” – Daniel Libeskind

“To work in architecture you are so much involved with society, with politics, with bureaucrats. It’s a very complicated process to do large projects. You start to see the society, how it functions, how it works. Then you have a lot of criticism about how it works.” – Ai Weiwei

“We do not create the work. I believe we, in fact, are discoverers.” – Glenn Murcutt

“Whatever good things we build end up building us.” – Jim Rohn

“When I’m working on a problem, I never think about its beauty, I just think about how to solve the problem, but when I finish it, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it’s wrong.” – Richard Buckminster Fuller

“You can learn from the past, but you can’t continue to be in the past; history is not a substitute for imagination.” – Frank Gehry

An architect does not work on a building, but a representation of a building.

Funny Architecture Quotes

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“Even a brick wants to be something.” – Louis Kahn

“Don’t be the same. Be better.”

“98% of what gets built today is shit.” – Frank Gehry

“A camel is a horse designed by committee.” – Sir Alec Issigonis

“A doctor can bury his mistakes, but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Being a famous designer is like being a famous dentist.” – Noreen Morioka

“Britain loves a bargain… but you don’t get good, lasting architecture on the cheap.” – David Chipperfield

“Build! Don’t Talk.” – Ludwig Mies ven der Rohe

“Early in my career…I had to choose between an honest arrogance and a hypercritical humility… I deliberately choose an honest arrogance, and I’ve never been sorry.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Give them the vision of Oz, show them the direction, convince them you can create the yellow brick road; the rest is civil engineering.” – Dirk Susharme

“God created paper for the purpose of drawing architecture on it. Everything else is, at least for me, an abuse of paper.” – Alvar Aalto

“Good building come from good people, and all problems are solved by good design.” – Stephen Gardiner

“Good design is all about making other designers feel like idiots because the idea wasn’t theirs.” – Frank Chimero

“Home is where you hang your architect.” – Chare Booth Luce

“I don’t know why people hire architects and then tell them what to do.” – Frank Ghery

“I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?” – Philip Johnson

“I understand that, today, some developers are asking architects to design eye-catching, iconic buildings. Fortunately, I’ve not had that kind of client so far.” – Fumihiko Maki

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.” – Saul Bass

“Ignorance is bliss… with this innocence you can create and question a lot of things” – Kunle Adeyemi

“It is legendary how architectural lectures can be incredibly boring.” – Bjarke Ingels

“I’ve noticed the computer sometimes leads to rather bland decision-making; Now, anybody can do a wobbly, blobby building.” – Peter Cook

“Nothing requires the architect’s care more than the due proportions of buildings.” – Vitruvius

“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Stay close to anything that makes you glad you are alive.” – Hafez

“The door handle is the handshake of the building.” – Juhani Pallasmaa

“The fundamental failure of most graphic, product, architectural and even urban design is its insistence on serving the God of Looking-Good rather than the God of Being-Good.” – Richard Saul Wurman

“The Sun does not realize how wonderful it is until after a room is made.” – Louis Kahn

“We used to build civilizations. Now we build shopping malls.” – Bill Bryson


Inspirational Architecture Quotes

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“To create, one must first question everything.” – Eileen Gray

“A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.” – Louis Kahn

“All fine architectural values are human values, else not valuable.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so.” – David Brooks

“Always remember to fall asleep with a dream and wake up with a purpose.”

“Great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare. In every case they are unique, poetic, products of the heart.” – Arthur Erickson

“Great things never come from comfort zones.” – Roy T. Bennett

“Here, then, is what I wanted to tell you of my architecture. I created it with courage and idealism, but also with an awareness of the fact that what is important is life, friends, and attempting to make this unjust world a better place in which to live.” – Oscar Niemeyer

“I am simply submerged in work from five in the morning to eleven at night; almost need a few days off to escape a breakdown!” – Richard Neutra

“I don’t think that architecture is only about shelter… it should be able to excite you, to calm you, to make you think.” – Zaha Hadid

“I refuse to work unless I get paid, so I don’t get a lot of work sometimes.” – Frank Ghery

“I think about architecture all the time. That’s the problem. But I’ve always been like that. I dream it sometimes.” – Zaha Hadid

“I think you never stop learning.” – Norman Foster

“If a project is intense, valid, and has a powerful idea, its imperfections will be in the background..” – Alberto Campo Baeza

“Keep going, you are getting there.”

“Let people do what they need to do to make them happy, mind your own business, and do what you need to do to make you happy.” – Leon Brown

“Many things aren’t equal, but everyone gets the same 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We make time for what we truly want.”

“People who build their own home tend to be very courageous. These people are curious about life. They’re thinking about what it means to live in a house, rather than just buying a commodity and making it work.” – Tom Kundig

“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step in your life.” – Steve Maraboli

“Successful people are not gifted; they just work hard, then succeed on purpose.” – G. K. Nielson

“The building is like a book. Its architecture is the binding, its text is in the glass and sculpture.” – Malcolm Miller

“The first gesture of an architect is to draw a perimeter; in other words, to separate the microclimate from the macro space outside. This in itself is a sacred act. Architecture in itself conveys this idea of limiting space. It’s a limit between the finite and the infinite. From this point of view, all architecture is sacred.” – Mario Botta

“The life of a designer is one of fight: fight against the ugliness.” – Massimo Vignelli

“The limits of architecture are its strength. Its inability to give form to a transient idea. Its inevitable tendency to stabilize, is the latent power of architecture.” – David Chipperfield

“The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“We should attempt to bring nature, houses, and human beings together in a higher unity.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

“When we build, let us think that we build forever.” – John Ruskin

“Without and architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.” – Louis Kahn

“You know what the issue is with this world? Everyone wants a magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.” – Alice in Wonderland

“You’ve got to bumble forward into the unknown.” – Frank Ghery

“Light, God’s eldest daughter, is a principal beauty in a building.” – Thomas Fuller

Architects have reduced their role. It's a whole litany of what they don't do. Our position is the opposite: Do more and take back control. Peter Gluck

Landscape Architecture Quotes

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“The good building is not one that hurts the landscape, but one which makes the landscape more beautiful than it was before the building was built.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Landscape architecture…shares an interest in aesthetics, pleasure, and amenity with gardening, which links it, not only to the earliest settlements and cultivations, but also to ancient dreams of paradise.”

“I don’t divide architecture, landscape and gardening. To me they are one.” – Luis Barragan

“Any work of architecture which does not express serenity is a mistake.” – Luis Barragan

“Every plant has its fitness and must be placed in its proper surroundings so as to bring out its full beauty. Therein lies the art of landscaping.” – Jens Jensen

“I think one of the primary goals of feminist landscape architecture would be to work toward a public landscape in which we can roam the streets at midnights, in which every square is available for Virginia Woolf to make up her novels.” – Rebecca Solnit

“The enjoyment of scenery employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it; tranquilizes it and yet enlivens it.” – Frederick Law Olmsted

“What we can do as landscape architects is look at how we can use materials to the best advantage. And our resources like water. Water is so precious that we can’t waste it. We have to use it in small amounts. And we have to use it effectively.” – Pamela Palmer

We shape our homes and then our homes shape us. WINSTON CHURCHILL

Design Philosophy Architecture Quotes

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“A designer is a planner with an aesthetic sense.” – Bruno Munari

“A profound design process eventually makes the patron, the architect, and every occasional visitor in the building a slightly better human being.” – Juhani Pallasmaa

“An object should be judged by whether it has a form consistent with its use.” – Bruno Munari

“Buildings, too, are children of the Earth and Sun.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

“Buildings are deeply emotive structures which form our psyche” – David Adjaye

“Context is so important, not to mimic… but to become part of the place.” – David Adjaye

“For me, architecture is a social act.” – David Adjaye

“For me, design is like choosing what I’m going to wear for the day – only much more complicated and not really the same at all.” – Robynne Raye

“Form follows profit is the aesthetic principle of our times.” – Richard Rogers

“I believe that the way people live can be directed a little by architecture.” – Tadao Ando

“As designers, we have such power to make design change the world. We really need to make better use of our platform and do stuff that is useful” – Yinka Ilori

“Designers think everything done by someone else is awful, and that they could do it better themselves, which explains why I designed my own living room carpet, I suppose.” – Chris Bangle

“Designers are meant to be loved, not to be understood.” – Fabien Barral

“Design should never say, “Look at me!” It should always say, “Look at this!”” – David Craib

“Design is where science and art break even.” – Mieke Gerritzen

“Design is thinking made visual.” – Saul Bass

“Design can be a powerful tool for good.” – Mariam Kamara

“I try to give people a different way of looking at their surroundings. That is art to me.” – Maya Lin

“My architecture is easy to understand and enjoy, I hope it also is hard to forget.” – Oscar Niemeyer

“My work is not about form follows function, but form follows beauty or, even better, form follows feminine..” – Oscar Niemeyer

“Not many architects have the luxury to reject significant things.” – Rem Koolhaas

“Our opportunity, as designers, is to learn how to handle the complexity, rather than shy away from it, and to realize that the big art of design is to make complicated things simple.” – Tim Parsey

“People think that design is styling. Design is not style. It’s not about giving shape to the shell and not giving a damn about the guts. Good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing.” – Paola Antonelli

“The acceptance of certain realities doesn’t preclude idealism. It can lead to certain breakthroughs.” – Rem Koolhaas

“The best advice I’ve received is to be yourself. The best artists do that.” – Frank Ghery

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

Architecture is a way of thinkinga bout life.

Minimalist Architecture Quotes

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“Make it simple, but significant.”

“Less is more.” – Mies van der Rohe

“Less is a bore.” – Robert Venturi

“First simple rule in life: if you do not go after what you want, you will never have it.”

“If we learn to build with local materials, we have a future.” – Francis Kere

“In pure architecture the smallest detail should have a meaning or serve a purpose.” – Augustus W. N. Pugin

“In the face of the economic plight, it is our task to become pioneers of simplicity, that is, to find a simple form for all of life’s necessities, which is at the same time respectable and genuine.” – Oskar Schlemmer

“Minimalism is an appreciation of space.” – Jack Kerouac

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“The greatest architectural illusion is not Baroque fancy or Victorian flamboyant, but minimalism.” – Kevin McCloud

I prefer when archilecture is symmetrical. It makes it calming.

Modern Architecture Quotes

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“Modern architecture does not mean the use of immature new materials; the main thing is to refine materials in a more human direction.” – Alvar Aalto

“In my experience, if you have to keep the lavatory door shut by extending your left leg, it’s modern architecture.” – Nancy Banks-Smith

“I find modernist design boring, but it’s so much faster!” – Christine Suewon Lee

“The modern architect is, generally speaking, art’s greatest enemy.” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“Each new situation requires a new architecture.” – Jean Nouvel

“Nothing in this world is more simple and more cheap than making cities that provide better for people.” – Jan Gehl

“The job of the architect today is to create beautiful buildings. That’s all.” – Philip Johnson

“We live in a time of renaissance … cities are coming back to life, after a long neglect.” – Daniel Libeskind


In Conclusion

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The above is our 200 favorite architecture quotes! We hope you have found surprising and inspiring quotes.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Architecture quotes and sayings? Do you have a favorite architectural style? Let us know what it is in the comment section below!

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