Saturday, March 29, 2008

Architecture of the Imagination

"'So that's an opera house, is it,' said Granny.  'Looks like someone built a great big box and glued the architecture on it afterward.'  ...

The Opera House was, indeed, that most efficiently multifuctional of building designs.  It was a cube.  But, ..., the architect had suddenly realized ... that there ought to be some sort of decoration. and had shoved it on hurriedly, in a riot of friezes, pillars, corybants, and curly bits.  Gargoyles had colonized the higher reaches.  The effect, seen from the front, was of tortured stone. 

Round the back, ..., was the usual drab mess of windows, pipes, and damp stone walls.  One of the rules of a certain type of public architecture is that it only happens at the front."

From Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

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