First of all I want to tell you that architecture does not exist. There is a work of architecture. And a work of architecture is an offer to architecture in the hope that this work can become part of the architectural treasure. Not all buildings are architecture. Of great help to my task as an architect is the awareness that every building belongs to an institution of man. And I have the utmost respect for the aspirations from which the institutions have sprung and for the beauty of architectural interpretations. But we have separated the two. Just think of that stupendous «artistic pressure that was inspired by Adriano. Adriano wanted a place where everyone could take part equally in religious rites. The result was the Pantheon. And what a splendid interpretation it gave us, a circular building that did not «lend itself to a formalistic ritual. (..) .. the program is not architecture, it is simply an indication of how the pharmacist’s prescription could be. Because the program says atrium and the architect has to transform it into a place to enter. The corridors must become galleries. Budgets must become economy, areas must become spaces. (…) The program that is received and the architectural translation that is given of it must come from the spirit of man, not from material instructions. (…) A square building, or built according to the square and the light must give evidence to this square. A rectangular building must be built according to the rectangle. And so is the circular building, and so is the building with an even more fluid form, which must still find its own order, its own internal law, in its making, which is a truly geometric making.
(from a conference held at the Milan Polytechnic, January 1967).
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