Appeal for an Architecture of Necessity

Architecture responds to the most basic human needs. It provides shelter from the elements, but is also playful and passionate. Architecture is the boundary between nature and culture, it is mankind’s existential foothold in the world. Architecture is the story of humanity, of our societies evolving, of economic- social- and cultural conditions.

In the globalised world and media-driven societies, architecture is emerging as an arena for social competition and a means to create areas of desirability. It becomes icons intending to awaken sensation. Poor city planning and property speculation result in an increase of the social divide, of travel and transport and in an increased waste of our finite resources. Human constructions and habitation, the way we build and where, are some of the main causes of climate change. These problems are global.

Today, architecture is facing challenges of a similar magnitude the modernists were facing at the beginning of the last century. The wise human will see the necessity to regard these challenges with outmost concern. Globalisation opens for new solutions and an Architecture of Necessity creates new possibilities.

The architecture of necessity is:

1. Responsible
The 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 lies in its constraints.

2. Conscientious
The Architecture of Necessity is well planned, considerately executed and meticulously evaluated. Planning relies on experience and responds to human needs. It embeds the building into its environment and functionality into the building. Attention to detail, choice of material and allowing the input of the users of the space, ensures an inclusive and viable environment. The evaluation generates knowledge of the continued life of the building and for future projects. Reflection ensures a long term economy.

3. Sustainable
The 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 in the buildings they were first found. Architecture must economise with resources and energy and it must show consideration for people.

4. Just
The Architecture of Necessity seeks to counteract the social- and global divide. It prevents segregation and slum by stimulating participation in, and development of, the suburbs and favelas. It defends architecture as a universal right, and the architectural experience as a free cultural utility. Society shall provide the space for both the everyday- and the extraordinary experiences of human life, for all.

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