Beauty will save the world


It is said that beauty preserves the human essence. Through time and modernity, styles will change but human nature, the truth at man’s core—remains constant. Behavioral scientists know this. Marketers know this. Those purveyors of beauty heralded in the pages of this book know this. Wrote Mark Helprin in A Soldier of the Great War:

“To see the beauty of the world is to put your hands on the lines that run uninterrupted through life and through death. Touching them is an act of hope, for perhaps someone on the other side, if there is another side, is touching them, too.”

If beautiful buildings, lovely spaces, attractive environments cannot save our souls, they most assuredly elevate our time on earth. Creating havens for today’s citizens, places they call home, is a profession of the highest order in any place and any time.

Beauty makes order of chaos. Ambition of boredom. Well-being of disorder. It’s no wonder that beauty flourishes most when civilizations are in crisis. Modern structures promise a break from ossified design that has lost its capacity to bear meaning. Styles that ebb and flow through the ages may need periodic refreshing, but always hold principles of truth at their core.

And so it is with the collection of beauty herein. Most physical, all engaging and each striking within their specific environment and meeting their resident, neighborhood, society.

Herein are some of the best examples of structure, place and process transforming spaces of disorder into order and comfort. Homes.

Beauty will save the world, wrote Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. At a time when beauty is often abused, such a respite as the pages before you are a welcome moment.

As Czelslaw Milosz wrote in his poem One More Day:

“And though the good is weak, beauty is very strong.
Nonbeing sprawls, everywhere it turns into ash whole expanses of being,
It masquerades in shapes and colors that imitate existence
And no one would know it, if they did not know it was ugly.
And when people cease to believe that there is good and evil
Only beauty will call to them and save them.
So that they still know how to say: this is true and that is false.”

With this National Association of Home Builders Pillars of the Industry Award for Multifamily Winners’ Issue we bring you, gentle reader, beauty, and so truth. Enjoy.