Friday, May 06, 2005

Into A New Era

In an attempt to contribute to the current renaissance of classicism I have started my own web-site, which I hope will be of some use to the cause of classical architects everywhere. My hope is that the site will be used freely by many as a resource, gathering place, and depository.

As far as I know, most architecture firms are using CAD as the main tool for document production, so I feel compelled to provide some files for the contemporary classicist. Electronic files are quickly out-pacing traditional hard copies as venues for the dissemination of knowledge, so I guess rather than fight the tide, this time it's better to go with the flow. CAD drawings, in my opinion, will never outshine a hand-drafted document by a master draftsman, but as the architecture industry develops at light speed, there's often no looking back when it comes to technology.

Also, as far as I know, books have become nearly obsolete (or at least unused) for the contemporary architect. There is so much knowledge that has been accumulated over the centuries that a classicist has little hope of developing without referencing it. After all, the classical tradition has endured because of the handing-down of knowledge from one generation to the next since the classical tradition began.

There are only a handful of "classicists" practicing architecture these days (willing to call themselves classicists). Another mandate of my web-site is to promote these architecture firms so that the built environment is improved by the display of their works. Currently, the "classical underground" represents a tiny force fighting the good fight in the name of beauty and truth (two very controversial topics, even among classicists). Through organizations like the Institute of Classial Architecture & Classical America (ICA&CA), the Prince of Whales Foundation, INTBAU and others, the renaissance is gaining strength.

So as we move into this new era of classicism (classical architecture has historically moved in and out of "style", always to make a resurgence), there is much work to be done to counter the destruction that has been done through the efforts of the architectural profession as a whole over the last seventy-five years. New Urbanism, which is inspired by very old urbanism, has contributed to the revival of traditional architecture by demonstrating that cities, towns, and even neighborhoods are better served by using models informed by generations of experience. Urban blight has been replaced in some locations with traditonal architecture and urbanism with much success and generative excitement. This is largely due to traditional architects' commitment to a more livable world.

I invite everyone with even the slightest interest in classical architecture to use my web-site ( and spread the word!


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Marcus Scotus said...

Dear Gregory,

I have made a little list of tradtional architecture web sites, and am looking to expand this list.

I am mainly interested in new tradtitional Catholic Church architecture.

If perhaps you could send me some further suggestions for notable websites, I would appreciate it very much. I am hoping to keep track of this trend, and very much hope for a revitalism of classicism, especial in Catholic architecture.

Best regards,

Mark Abeln

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