Written by Roger Scruton

Architecture, the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. The practice of architecture is employed to fulfill both practical and expressive requirements, and thus it serves both utilitarian and aesthetic ends. Although these two ends may be distinguished, they cannot be separated, and the relative weight given to each can vary widely. Because every society—whether highly developed or less so, settled or nomadic—has a spatial relationship to the natural world and to other societies, the structures they produce reveal much about their environment (including climate and weather), history, ceremonies, and artistic sensibility, as well as many aspects of daily life.

The characteristics that distinguish a work of architecture from other man-made structures are (1) the suitability of the work to use by human beings in general and the adaptability of it to particular human activities, (2) the stability and permanence of the work’s construction, and (3) the communication of experience and ideas through its form. All these conditions must be met in architecture. The second is a constant, while the first and third vary in relative importance according to the social function of buildings. If the function is chiefly utilitarian, as in a factory, communication is of less importance. If the function is chiefly expressive, as in a monumental tomb, utility is a minor concern. In some buildings, such as churches and city halls, utility and communication may be of equal importance.

The present article treats primarily the forms, elements, methods, and theory of architecture. For the history of architecture in antiquity, see the sections on ancient Greece and Rome in Western architecture; as well as Anatolian art and architecture; Arabian art and architecture; Egyptian art and architecture; Iranian art and architecture; Mesopotamian art and architecture; and Syro-Palestinian art and architecture. For later historical and regional treatments of architecture, see African architecture; Chinese architecture; Japanese architecture; Korean architecture; Oceanic art and architecture; Western architecture; Central Asian arts; Islamic arts; South Asian arts; and Southeast Asian arts. For a discussion of the place of architecture and architectural theory in the realm of the arts, see aesthetics. For related forms of artistic expression, see city; interior design; and urban planning.

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DPWH on Demolishing Intramuros

This popped up on Facebook today:

Hot Manila – by Alan Robles
Posted at 09/12/2014 8:28 PM | Updated as of 09/12/2014 8:28 PM

Are they insane?

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is “seriously considering” destroying the 440-year-old walled city of Intramuros in order to speed up the flow of cargo trucks from Port Area.

According to totally unreliable source and vague spokesman Duane Gollum-Dumayo, “planners looked at the Port Area map and they saw this huge 64-hectare congested riverside walled neighborhood blocking the route and they said, what’s that? Let’s blow it up.

“With lots of dynamite.”

Asked if DPWH realized Intramuros is a precious cultural and historic heritage area, the very heart of Manila, the vague spokesperson replied, “it’s just a big stone lump to the planners, also they checked it out and found out it’s already been destroyed before, so it’s not like it’s going to be the first time.

“Besides”, he added, “they won’t destroy everything, they’ll probably leave the churches standing, as well as that Fort Santiago thing. And the Commission on Elections.”

The DPWH aroused protests from historians earlier this week when it said it would bulldoze the Anda Circle monument at the foot of Del Pan Bridge. It said the circle, which has a marble obelisk dating back to 1871, was hampering truck movement from the port, which for months has been congested with a mountainous backlog of undelivered cargo containers.

Now, Gollum-Dumayo, who described himself as “a sleazy lurker and college failure,” explained, “the guys figured, hey, while we’re doing Anda Circle, we may as well get rid of everything else in the area that looks historic and useless. That’s when they noticed Intramuros.”

He said, “as soon as they clear the Intramuros rubble and widen the truck road, DPWH can start with reblocking and flyover projects that will immediately pay off in terms of fees to contractors.”

According to the sleazy vague spokesman, planners estimated that tearing down Intramuros could reduce cargo trucks’ trip time by “up to five minutes.”

Gollum-Dumayo revealed that if the Intramuros demolition proved successful, the department might eradicate nearby landmarks as well.

“They don’t want the public to think they’re sleeping on the job or anything like that. They’ve already prepared a list of places to clear to widen the roads: there’s Rizal Park, the National Museum, Philippine Normal University, Ayala Bridge – oops, no wait, the trucks need that bridge to cross the Pasig River.”

Gollum-Dumayo said “DPWH anticipates people might be upset about knocking down the National Museum, so they’ll just call it by its old name and say they’re demolishing the Congress building. They’re pretty sure people will even come along and help.”


Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.

Architect’s Credo


I shall work with this virtuous commitment: to exercise to the utmost my duty to myself, my country, and my God.

I shall uphold the ideals, follow the norms of conduct of a noble profession, and endlessly endeavor to protect and further its just ends.

I shall abide by the laws, rules, legal orders, statutory policies, and measures of my country; the Code of Ethical Conduct and the Standards of Professional Practice; and the Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws of the Integrated and Accredited Professional Organization of Architects (IAPOA).

I shall humbly seek success not through the measure of solicited personal publicity, but by industrious, meaningful application to my work, and strive to merit a reputation for quality of service and for equitable dealing.

I shall ask for fair remuneration for my professional services from my Client, and hold his/her interest over and above my own.

I shall disclose, whenever required, any private business investments or ventures that may tend to create a conflict of interest, and ensure that such conflict does neither compromise the legitimate interests of my Clients nor interfere with my duty to render impartial judgment.

I shall exercise my professional prerogatives always with the highest level of integrity.

I shall inspire, by my behavior the loyalty of my associates and subordinates, and take upon me the mentorship of the aspirants to the profession.

I shall confine my criticisms and praises within constructive and inspirational limits, and never resort to these means to promote any malicious motives.

I shall dedicate myself to the pursuit of creative endeavor towards the goal of enlightened Art and Science, generously sharing the benefits of my research, experience, and expertise.

I shall treasure my being a holder of a valid certificate of registration and a valid professional identification card as registered and licensed architect and of a valid membership card with the IAPOA.

I shall consecrate myself to the highest standard of professionalism, integrity, and competence to the public, to the Client, to the contractor, to the manufacturers, dealers, and agents, and to colleagues and subordinates who are the direct and indirect users and beneficiaries of my architectural services.