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Helmut Jahn Quotes

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Helmut Jahn
January 4, 1940 -
Category: Architect

A good engineer thinks in reverse and asks himself about the stylistic consequences of the components and systems he proposes.


I wanted to improve the suburban office building; to create a great urban space in a suburban environment with all that implies about interaction, collaboration and creativity.


Higher ceilings allow the use indirect lighting, which is much healthier and reduces glare.


I think the younger generation, the people poised to dominate the workforce, are more socially conscious. They are more demanding in terms of environment and how that environment contributes to their life.


In Europe, they're more demanding, the ones that rent the build ings.


A building is hard to judge. It takes many years to find out whether it works. It's not as simple as asking the people in the office whether they like it.


When I came to America in the '60s, it was the place to be. I wonder if I'd come here today.


Sometimes I have to accept a job I don't really want. Hardly anybody comes up to you with a commission; it's all competitions these days.


Most architects say: I want to use this type of glass, even if it's too reflective or doesn't let enough light in. However, the use of a certain type of glass might change the comfort level.


When I think of some of my earlier work, it really seems a fortunate coincidence that I succeeded.


Critics are entitled to have an opinion, but how can they judge how comfortable a building is? No critic is smart enough to judge how a building will perform over time.


Transparency is not the same as looking straight through a building: it's not just a physical idea, it's also an intellectual one.


In Europe, architects consider themselves artists. They think they're special when they win a competition.


America has always imported history.


The American attitude towards efficiency and execution should always underlie architecture.


For me, though, the fun is over when I get the job.


A city building, you experience when you walk; a suburban building, you experience when you drive.


We are creating a unique experience. It's starts with how you see the building from a distance.


You'd never think of taking a cab if you had to walk a mile down Chicago's Michigan Avenue. But in a bad city you take a cab just to go around the corner.


We want our buildings to work like a machine that will create a pleasurable environment.


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