3 Intimacy of design within the huge

Big buildings of the 20th century most often overwhelm us. We feel insignificant next to them, and unrelated. It is not because of their size. After all, when we are in a mountain valley, against a great rock-wall, say, the wall may be immense, the sheer wall might be thousands of feet high. Yet we do not feel it gross, or crude. It always preserves its scale in relation to ourselves. It feels human, even though it is gigantic.
That is because, quite simply, the Levels of scale are always present. There are planes, fissures, crevices, which bring the scale down, in easy jumps, from the gigantic wall of rock, all the way to the small pieces, small clinging plants, and individual hanging boulders.

Yet still, because of the relationship established by this archway, we are made comfortable, and feel related to the hall, even though it is so huge. It is because of the detailing, and the long hierarchy of scales in the living centers, ranging in comfortable steps from the great size of the building volume, to the smaller building next door, to the bays, then to the columns, and finally all the way down to the smallest ornaments. We feel it all to be related.

#book/The Nature of Order/3 A Vision of a Living World/4 Large public buildings#

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