Of and For Turner Contemporary:
Writings on a Building

Foreword

This collection of intelligent thoughts, focused or hung on the subject of one building, Turner Contemporary in Margate, are not testament to the building itself but rather to the importance of buildings.

We must remind ourselves that buildings are not finite statements of authorial intent but rather the embodiment of concerns, conditions and human ambitions. They are not one thing and shouldn't be so. Buildings are not agile; they cannot make comment; cannot be ironic; cannot speak. They can talk only through the decisions they enact: they take shape, they enclose, they offer views, bring in light, keep out light, they choose to be made of this, not that. Do these decisions amount to anything, are they sufficient to make us consider? Architecture should appeal to us, we are sentimental creatures and we tend towards fondness when possible.

These essays put architecture in what I believe to be its rightful place; not always liked but with the capacity to be liked, not its own world but part of ours.

Sir David Chipperfield