...My name is Lloyd Taft. I am an architect. Since beginning practice some 30 years ago I have designed and built in a wide variety of styles and sizes, and have always felt that there is an underlying philosophy to the entire body of work. I have designed houses in the Shingle style, in industrial loft aesthetic, in traditional New England clapboard vernacular, in white modern international, I have preserved and converted barns, built Georgian residences of cut Limestone and brick, and used Adirondack references in hand peeled custom fitted log houses. In all my designs there has been an underlying constant that is immediately apparent upon entering the spaces, but has always been elusive to define. I am starting this blog to make the attempt to define it. This will be done through my words, the words of others, pictures and links to sites that speak in the same voice.
The word that is best used to describe the constant that I speak of is spiritualism. The true nature of a spiritual presence cannot be intellectually described, but must be emotionally experienced. There have been many attempts to define spirituality, organized religion being the most prominent. And certainly no one can deny that organized religion has been responsible for the majority of our great works of architecture, from Chartres to Ronchamp. The awe that one feels in these spaces is intended to glorify God. To this end they are successful.
And yet this sense of place exists beyond the built environment. Naturally formed cathedrals exist in the desert, on the ocean floor, in mountain forests and on open plains. It is often in these places that the universe shows the glory of its energies and inspires a humanity common to us all. The goal of the architect is to create volume, allow light to express itself, and give meaning to movement. Nature inherently does this, there is no intellectual aspect to natural creation.
As an architect I strive to capture this same energy. It is a daunting task that requires putting the ego aside and allowing emotion to assume built form. It is important to remember that outside of the built walls is a universe so vast that comprehension is impossible. A building contains spirit that connects it to a larger reality.
...in every inquiry, the examination of material elements and instruments is not to be regarded as final, but as ancillary to the conception of the total form. Thus, the true object of architecture is not bricks, mortar or timber, but the house; and so the principal object of natural philosophy is not the material elements, but their composition, and the totality of the form to which they are subservient, and independently of which they have no existence. Aristotle