Beauty, Humanism, Continuity
between Past and Future
Many people today yearn for a better quality of environment in their cities, towns and countryside. All too often, where changes do occur, the results represent a degradation of what was there before. We need to learn how to reshape our built environment in a way that reflects the desires and values of the community.
Traditional architects understand that buildings of the past are uniquely capable of satisfying people’s needs. In the past buildings were designed to be beautiful as well as well as functional. Architects were schooled in a tradition that had evolved over millennia - one that totally integrated the practical and aesthetic requirements of buildings.
But in the latter part of the twentieth century a majority of architects lost their way and became beholden to utopian dreams of reforming society and the individual. They sought to make both fit for their particular vision of the future. These architects aimed at a rupture with the past holding that history was irrelevant to the modern world. The desire for beauty was replaced by a subservience to technology and abstract theory.
But all the while traditional skill and knowledge were never lost and some architects in Britain and elsewhere continued steadfastly to practise and develop traditional architecture. The members of this Traditional Architecture Group are heirs to this continuity.
Traditional architecture teaches us that by seeking to create and to recognise beauty we establish a contact with our own sense of humanity – a humanity that is shared by all. Traditional architecture comes in many different styles and forms, for it is produced by many different individuals and cultures and so variety is an essential aspect of it. But whatever its origins it is always accessible to all.
Traditionalists believe that, however much the times we live in might be subject to change, there are basic human values which do not change. Our values in respect of the built environment are an example of this. This is clear for when we look at great architecture of one hundred, five hundred, two thousand years ago its power is undiminished.
The Traditional Architecture Group is committed to developing the values established by long tradition and adapting them to the modern world. Traditionalism looks to the past only to see the future more clearly. In the new century traditional architecture is growing worldwide. Traditionalism is the solid, viable, long term future for architecture.