Buildings That Give Hope – and Buildings That Condemn Us - Deepstash

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Buildings talk to us

Buildings talk to us

A rarely remarked upon feature of buildings is that they tell us something about themselves and its broader view of the world.

The Mauritshuis, a museum in the Hague completed in the classical style in the early nineteenth century, tells us that its dignified and stately, calm and rational, but also a place for tenderness. It reminds us that we are a tiny moment in a long history.

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Buildings don't say the same things

Some buildings can be loud or impatient. In Madrid, there's a large residential block that speaks of being bored with convention. The building is not necessarily new, but certainly up for fun.

Then there are buildings covered with dreary graffiti that talks of lacking hope for the future and of just giving up.

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Buildings affect our self-conception

Buildings have a great influence over our self-conception. Very often, we don't have a stable sense of our value or society. On some days, things can feel tolerable, and we have faith in our fellow humans. But on other days, we sense our mood dropping. We wonder about the cruelty of people.

Crucially for our state of mind is the architecture that can help push us either in a positive or a negative direction. Buildings that speaks of forgiveness, gentleness and modesty can make the world feel benevolent. If we are stuck in streets that talk to us sharply about shame, about being a nobody, these messages can amplify the worst on our inner world.

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Choose which buildings you visit

Few of us are so impervious to the voices of the streets that we don't get affected. That's why we gravitate to certain districts that can respect and like us and avoid those that reflect negativity.

Thus we should take care of the buildings we spend time around. Their voices are likely to affect us deeply.

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