Philip Johnson

(Philip Cortelyou Johnson)

Philip Johnson
Philip Johnson
  • Born: July 8, 1906
  • Died: January 25, 2005
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Architect









Quote Topics Cited
Creationism means simply a belief in creation Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
All architects want to live beyond their deaths. Death
All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Anybody can build a building, putting some doors into it, but how many times have you been in a building that moves you to tears the way Beethoven's 'Eighth' does?
Architecture is art, nothing else. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Architecture is basically the design of interiors, the art of organizing interior space. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Architecture is the art of how to waste space. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Concrete you can mold, you can press it into - after all, you haven't any straight lines in your body. Why should we have straight lines in our architecture? You'd be surprised when you go into a room that has no straight line - how marvelous it is that you can feel the walls talking back to you, as it were.
Doing a house is so much harder than doing a skyscraper.
Don't build a glass house if you're worried about saving money on heating. Money, Coins & Minting
Dullness is the enemy.
Faith? Haven't any. I'm not a nihilist or a relativist. I don't believe in anything but change. I'm a Heraclitean - you can't step in the same river twice. Religion & God
Glibness will get your anywhere.
Houston is undoubtedly my showcase city. I saved all my best buildings for Houston.
How does an artist know when the line that he just painted is good or not good? That's the catch. De Kooning was the greatest of my contemporaries in art, and he knew when he'd done a good line. When he didn't, he threw it away. I wish I'd thrown away some of mine. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I always think of buildings in their settings, but so do other architects.
I call myself a traditionalist, although I have fought against tradition all my life. Life
I get between nine and ten hours of sleep. Go to bed at 8:30 and get up at 6:00 or 6:30 if I oversleep.
I got everything from someone. Nobody can be original.
I guess I can't be a great architect. Great architects have a recognizable style. But if every building I did were the same, it would be pretty boring.
I guess I want to make money just like other people, perhaps more than most people. Money, Coins & Minting
I hate vacations. If you can build buildings, why sit on the beach?
I haven't any wisdom - just a child like everybody else. I'm not as great as Frank Lloyd Wright.
I like the thought that what we are to do on this earth is embellish it for its greater beauty, so that oncoming generations can look back to the shapes we leave here and get the same thrill that I get in looking back at theirs - at the Parthenon, at Chartres Cathedral.
I like to be buttoned onto tradition. The thing is to improve it, twist it and mold it; to make something new of it; not to deny it. The riches of history can be plucked at any point. History
I used to think that each phase of life was the end. But now that my view on life is more or less fixed, I believe that change is a great thing. In fact, it's the only real absolute in the world. Life
I wish someone would ask me to design a cathedral.
I wouldn't build a building if it wasn't of interest to me as a potential work of art. Why should I? Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
If architects weren't arrogant, they wouldn't be architects. I don't know a modest good architect.
I'm a chameleon, so changeable. I see myself as a gadfly and a questioner.
I'm about four skyscrapers behind.
In my own work, I'd say I'm a classicist, but I look everywhere for my solutions. I don't study the toilet-living habits of my clients, although that's a popular approach. First, I think of every building in history that has been similar in purpose. Then I think of the functional program - that's a major part of the study. History ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
It is wonderful to be in the country in a glass house, because no matter what happens out there, you're nice and safe, you know, cuddled in your little bed, and there it is, raging storms, snowing - wonderful.
Maybe, just maybe, we shall at last come to care for the most important, most challenging, surely the most satisfying of all architectural creations: building cities for people to live in.
Processionalism is primary - how you get from one place to another, the relationships and effects of spaces as you move about in them. That's worked out awfully well in the State Theater. I'm a 'straight-in' man myself; I'm too nervous, I like to know where I am. I also like to know where I'm going.
Purpose is not necessary to make a building beautiful.
The first complete sentence out of my mouth was probably that line about consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds.
The future of architecture is culture. Future
The people with money to build today are corporations - they are our popes and Medicis. The sense of pride is why they build. Money, Coins & Minting
There's no such thing as old age. I'm no different now than I was 50 years ago. I'm just having more fun.
There's no worse feeling than seeing my buildings and realizing the mistakes.
There's only one reason for my whole life, and that's art. Nothing else counts; nothing else gives me pleasure; nothing else gives me satisfaction. Life ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
To me, the drive for monumentality is as inbred as the desire for food and sex, regardless of how we denigrate it. Monuments differ in different periods. Each age has its own. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
You cannot not know history. History
You're going to change the world? Well, go ahead and try. You'll give it up at a certain point and change yourself instead.

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