Knowlton School - The Ohio State University

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    Lecture - Herman Hertzberger

    By RMartz
    Mar 24, '14 2:15 PM EST


    Welcome back everyone. I apologize about the delay, but more importantly let us get right to it; our lecture courtesy of Herman Hertzberger. His goal with lecture was seemingly simple, “Why Architecture?”, “Why am I doing all this?”. He admitted that sometimes he doesn’t know himself. The reason that he argued for however is togetherness.

    In the beginning he showed the Bibliothèque nationale. It’s a piece of work that spoke to him, not though as much because of the architecture (which he does love by the way), but rather the people within; the way the architecture brought people together for similar purpose. What makes Rockefeller square so beautiful is the way it unites people in watching the ice skating below. The New York Guggenheim is so successful because it’s not only about viewing the art, but also the people.



    Architecture is for the people. He has embraced the fact that people will reinterpret, reuse/misuse, and change the architecture that he has designed. One’s first instinct is to be horrified when people ruin the purity of the architecture with their stuff, but he’s come to realize that perhaps it is through this that people find meaning in the architecture, by making it theirs, by tailoring it to their needs. The ability to accommodate people he believes should be a goal. One of his favorite parts in Le Corbusier’s Unite d'Habitation is the small niche placed on the balcony; perfect for a shrine to Mary, a candle, flowers, etc. Perhaps the message he is conveying is that architectures goal should be to tailor to design to the people’s needs, to accommodate them and their changes. For example, the ramp undercroft that he intently left blank but put sliding doors on the sides, allow the users to open them up or close them off.

    “If it makes them happy, then we did a good thing”

    As always you can find more on Knowlton’s YouTube channel ( and the school website (

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About this Blog

This blog will be a feeder for recent news, events and student work occurring at the Knowlton School at The Ohio State University. Posts will typically center around updates from the school's lecture series, exciting projects from recent student reviews and updates from other school events.

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