Architecture is the creation of atmospheres. Atmospheres that awaken our memory and relate to the spaces we have inhabited throughout our lives and that somehow “moved” us. A stone passageway may carry us back to our youth; a sunlit courtyard may remind us of blissful times. These atmospheres are like first impressions; but they are also about enduring sensations. These sensations, if good, will remain in our memory and become the standard for our ideals. Architecture must relate to this abstract notion of the “ideal room” based on personal experiences that are able to “move” the spectator.
But how does a building “move” us? What makes us “feel” a room or a building or a courtyard? It is something that goes beyond providing refuge. It is something that speaks to us by touching our inner fibers and relating to our memory and what we hold most dear. It must speak to us about values. It must give us a sense of place. It must create a dialogue between us and the building.
A building may speak to us through the intrinsic values inherent in the material presence of each element that makes it a building. We perceive the building as a whole, but it is composed of many elements that are carefully assembled, and which speak to us about values.
Architecture provides a context for our experiences and emotions.
Memory is how we relate to the spaces we inhabit.