Appeal for an Architecture of Necessity

Architecture responds to the most basic needs of human beings. It provides both protection from the elements of nature as well as spaces for passion and play. Architecture marks the threshold between nature and culture – it is humankind’s foothold in the world. Architecture is the story of human lives and the development of society, of economic, social and cultural relationships.

In the media-controlled globalised society, architecture is increasingly becoming an implement for competition and the desirability of locations. Architecture becomes icons whose aim is to cause sensation. Poor city planning and property speculation result in social divisions, long journeys and waste of resources. Human construction and habitation are key causes of environmental decay and climate change. The problems are global, as is the financial crisis that has plunged the world into recession.

Architecture is today facing challenges of a magnitude that modernism faced at the beginning of the twentieth century. The thinking human being sees the necessity in taking these challenges seriously. Globalisation offers new solutions, just as the Architecture of Necessity creates new possibilities.

Architecture of Necessity is:


Architecture of Necessity requires insight and professional knowledge. It reflects human needs, both immediate and distant. It considers all the dimensions and consequences of architecture, even those that are not always apparent. The future of architecture lie in its constraints.


Architecture of Necessity is properly planned, considerately executed and meticulously evaluated. The planning pays attention to experience, it answers human needs, it embeds the building into its environment and the function into the building. Attention to detail and choice of material provides a proximity for users and allows for the inclusion of those involved. The evaluation generates knowledge of the continued life of the building and of future projects. Reflection ensures a long-term economy.


Architecture of Necessity avoids short-term solutions. Its premise is recycling, it strives to reduce transport and takes advantage of renewable resources. The Architecture of Necessity is long term and renewable. Materials are best recycled where they already exist in a building. Architecture must economise with resources and energy and show consideration for people.


Architecture of Necessity counteracts social and global divisions. It prevents segregation and slums by stimulating participation and development in suburbs and favelas. It defends architecture as the right of everybody and the architectural experience as a free utility. Society shall provide the space for both the everyday and the extraordinary experiences of human life for everybody.


Architecture of Necessity invites change and dialogue. It is open to rich and complex cultural traditions and narratives and is the physical embodiment of the democratic society. A building or a city is not something to be completed, it is something to be developed. The architecture that is open to change and participation wil be loved and it will have a long life.