The humble building

I went to the Dreamers Awake exhibition at The White Cube in Bermondsey. For those of you who’ve never been there, the White Cube is a gallery space, all white walls and vast rooms, ready to let works of art shine. The building shows that it is possible to be great piece of architecture and still give art the main stage.

It made me think that one of the best virtues that architecture can possess is humility.

A humble building respects our planet.

A humble building respects its surroundings, it doesn’t outshine or ignore them. It improves the buildings around it and works with them to create a good place, like a team player. It may attract public to a forgotten area, or it may dissolve with its surroundings to create an harmonious street.

A humble building respects its purpose. If it is a museum, it allows art to shine without overpowering it. If it is a home, it allows for the spaces to be changed by those who live there. If it is a school, it facilitates learning.

A humble building respects people. It is usable by everyone, regardless of their age or disabilities. It is respectful to the passers by because it improves the public space around it. It helps creating the conditions for happiness.

We need more humble buildings.