The bookshelf: architecture

By Jane Devine

“Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.” These words by French priest Ernest Dimnet in his 1932 book What We Live By invite us to consider the place of architecture in our own lives and how it defines the spaces in which we live, work, study, worship, meet our fellow citizens and entertain ourselves. We often have strong emotions and opinions about these places, expressed, for example, by attachment to the family home or our affection for certain streets. As we move through life, architecture creates the setting for each stage of our passage, from the grade school where we start our education to the place where we eventually retire. Books are one way of contemplating and sometimes recapturing those significant places. With words and images, they prompt us to consider the pervasive presence of architecture in our lives and to recognize the architect’s role in creating the stage for our experiences.…

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