An Attitude for Good Architecture

An Attitude for Good Architecture

Foremost, good architecture comes only from a journey of exploration. It is fascinated with possibilities unexplored, resolutions unresolved and passages untrekked. It often seeks to create meaning in forgotten places through abandoned means; heightening nostalgic yet hopeful experiences for all.


Awestruck by its context, good architecture responds in an artful fashion that seeks to magnify its surroundings of people, place and happenings. It is a building that, as Peter Zumthor acknowledges, “is sufficient for the elasticity of the life function.” It should be in constant flux, with the ability to adopt qualities that are essential for its present occupants. This ensures a lasting relevance that will be cherished by inhabitants both present and future.


Good architecture allows its inhabitants to perceive the world with the whole of one’s being, both emotion and reason. Architecture in not merely a mathematical function for optimal utility; it is the stage upon which life unfolds. Good architecture successfully composes a backdrop for humanity to play its story, thus it should be designed in a way that stirs up strong feelings of emotion; heightening the senses into a connectedness of experience. Good architecture is also smart and intelligent; useful in its purpose, easily understood, intuitive to all.


Good architecture acknowledges the vastness and beauty of nature and responds in reverence. It seeks to exist in correlation and correspondence. It is honest and responsible in materiality seeking only to draw what is necessary for existence but not lavishness. Most of all good architecture should exist in parallel with humanity and nature.


My name is Andrew Matia and this is my origin. These thoughts are an amalgamate of both my visceral experience of built works and my formal education. I believe architecture is the means by which humanity creates the truest and most sincere expression of its collective values.


I have witnessed the transcendent through the lux nova in the Basilica of St. Denis and I have consumed the sensual through the dynamic curvatures of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I have wandered through rational thought in the extremely refined, programmatic organization of the Seattle Public Library and I have built a humanitarian conscientiousness by my involvement in Portland’s first public streets seats project, the 4th Ave Public Parklet. It is a myriad of like experiences that have coalesced into my belief that good architecture is above all a sensory experience that expresses meaning and value through the simple mediums of material, form, organization, light and utilitarian purpose; all this for the betterment of society.


It is my duty as a student of architecture to employ these ambitions in the urban context. It is my immediate surrounding and the home to some 54% of the world’s population. I believe that for a viable future, architects must lead the conversation in rethinking the fabric of our cities to one that is not limited by a conglomerate of self-serving interventions; but rather a future in which urban design is addressed in a way that enhances a harmony of experience, both physical and emotional.


A city of intrinsic meaning, fearless optimism, powerful composition and joyful pragmatism.

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