1. The teachings of Vitruvius are still remembered; one can get the impression that architects consider knowledge of these as confirmation of their education. Slightly dusted with time, the teachings of Vitruvius have changed their meaning today: Solidity? – it is not an eternity anymore, unnecessary (?) architecture is sometimes demolished; Utility? – deconstructivists shed new light on the issue of usability; Beauty? – what is beauty after the departure of the architecture of classical orders? what is beauty after the experiments of early avant-garde architects, and the works of Marcel Duchamp?
Architecture has undergone changes and dramatic redefinition; yet remaining a defective art (it is a useful thing), it still wants to be a beautiful thing.
2. To comprehend this world with reason, one needs – knowledge. Trying to grasp it with intuition – one needs talent.
From time to time, the state of architecture encourages reflection: Qvo vadis, architecture? Architecture is a peculiar art: the work is created without the touch of the creator’s hand. Not without pride, it is said that architecture is the art of shaping space, drawing attention to the intangible nature of the material. A much more modest definition reads: architecture is a game of forms assembled in the light. These definitions do not explain the essence of the matter; the architects must search for an explanation to the question – what is architecture? – on their own, in their own soul or mind, aware of the existence of a succession of changes in the history of architecture.
3. Today there is no single leading theory of architecture nor single tendency in art – except for the pursuit of originality. The thesis about searching for the essence of architecture in the soul or mind can be justified; it can signify – intuitive and (versus?) rationalist tendencies in the creation and reception of architecture. One can approach creativity with a rationalist attitude or, rejecting such reasoning, create without realizing the process of finding a solution to the problem. However, rational and irrational tendencies are not in contradiction to each other.
4. Intuitive tendencies do not signify the road to the extreme; the avant-gardes of architecture from the beginning of the last century failed and their contemporary interpretations (continuations?) mean nothing more than experimentation. Intuition – consists in the judgments and beliefs that occur before reasoning. Intuition appears in the form of a sudden flash in which one sees a thought, a picture, a solution to a problem or an answer to a bothering question. The nature of intuition results from the fact that it is a subconscious process, sometimes related to associative reasoning. One cannot control it, one can only evaluate emerging ideas. Intuitive tendencies are linked to poetic structures.
5. Rationalist tendencies first mean that the revolutions of obviously utilitarian objects are not accepted, and the content of Ernst Neufert’s work Bauentwurfslehre is still universally accepted. The rationalist attitude does not mean that sensations are misleading and unreliable, but that clear and explicit rational truths can become the basis of knowledge. It also means that relying on the resources of knowledge and guided by logical reasoning, one can create – physical structures of architecture.
6. What is needed then to reach the essence of architecture? Rationalist scepticism does not reject the mysterious world of intuition. Employing the knowledge and talent of the creator, the “rational” and “irrational” meet somewhere in space and in the light – where one would perhaps be able to find architecture. And to obtain a work of art – one has to hire an artist!