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On Classicism


Townhall at Windsor, Florida
by Leon Krier (with Scott Merrill and Georg Pastor)

" A work is classical not because its meaning is perpetuated but because it continually invites commentary and ferrets out the new. The classical reaches across culture and time and, taking the risk of anachronism, it heals the estrangement which humanism constantly faces. The classical then, is certainly the enduring and timeless. But this timelessness always takes the form of modernity; that is, it takes the form of the relevance of tradition. "

Demetri Porphyrios in "Classical Architecture"
(Andreas Papadakis Publications 1998)


Elevation of the Auditorium, Longwall Quadrangle, Magdalen College, Oxford, England (1991)

Demetri Porphyrios Associates

" Classical and Romantic. The classically disposed spirits no less than those romantically inclined -as these two species always exist- carry a vision of the future: but the former out of the strength of their time: the latter out of weakness. "

Friedrich Nietzsche, " The Wanderer and His Shadow "


Villa for Lord Rothschild in Corfu by Leon Krier (with Liam O'Connor)


" The Classical was never intended to represent things as they are...It was a proposal of what could be."

C.Domus Aurea


Center for Classical Studies, Nisyros, Greece
by Deupi Economakis Architects

For centuries classical architecture, due to its vernacular (archetypical) origins, was capable of conveying meaning to a wide audience. What was that meaning? -It answered the elemental human question- what is our placement in the cosmos? Order -the fundamental need for mankind to fathom and order his chaotic surrounds. Nature (taxis) -mastery of the persistent physical laws of mechanics, a capacity to shelter oneself from the elements, using primarily structural relationships (tectonics), a place of order between earth and sky.


Colonnade of the British Museum in London

Man, between God and Creation -a statement for the triumph of humanity over his surrounds- a place for him in the chaotic scheme of things -a place of comprehension, a place approaching perfection. The universe remodeled on Human terms. A statement of confidence about Humanity's place in the Cosmos, the use of His form, both literal (colum), and abstract (proportions) -again an ordering of what is found, a place that answers with confidence the existential quandary -where does man fit in?


Emory University, Dining Hall
by Lewis " Buck " Crook, Atlanta


Chi Soffre Speri by David Ligare (1990)
Oil on canvas, Private Collection, London


Windsor Town Center, Windsor, Florida by Merrill, Hatch and Pastor, Architects

The classical temple says clearly, HERE, between God and Creation, capacity for collective communication based on human and vernacular (archetypical) sources. The vernacular belongs to all of us. The primitive hut, the fundamental tectonic composition, colum and beam in shadow, wether Greek, Mayan, Cambodian, stirs primitive /primary /archetypal /universal /global /human emotion in that it recalls our primary departure from the beast of the field.


Temples of Vesta and Sybil in Tivoli