Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said “Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.” What a wonderful idea to ring in the new year with. Since beginning our practice two years ago we have worked on many projects – some were exciting, some mundane, some just paid the bills. But in all of our projects we looked for elements, pieces, parts, and opportunities to do something really well; to bring attention to our particular period in time, to leave a mark.

That is really what Mies is saying here: Architecture is the physical manifestation of our presence here on this earth in our time. For all of the proselytizing we do about sustainability and leaving a “legacy for the next generation”, when was the last time we looked at a project through Mies’s lens? The will of an epoch translated into space. What a sobering thought to realize that it is in our power, outside the desires of our clients, to create Architecture that leaves a mark, that makes a statement relative to and material to our time and place.

If we are not running towards this responsibility in our daily work then we are not grasping the full weight of what it means to be an architect. Nothing is worth doing if not done well and Architecture immeasurably so! This above all else is our one resolution for the new year, our singular focus.


Lisa Saldivar