In the beginning, there was a need for shelter. Caves, huts, teepees, igloos; the only holes in those walls were for access only, no windows, maybe a vent for the fire if you were lucky. Stone was then used to build walls, pile it up, solid and thick, thicker and taller…build a monument to the King, long live the King! A truth emerged…it’s dark inside and it sure gets smokey in there…how do we get rid of this smoke? Let’s create some holes in the wall…light will come in and the smoke will get out by the wind. Another problem, holes are limited in stone walls to the size of the lintel stone over the top; and the thicker the wall is, the harder it is to get light deeper inside. So, how can we make these holes bigger and the walls thinner? Solution, let’s build with arches over the windows; the bigger the arch, the bigger the hole in the wall for the windows.
Problem…Society was illiterate, no books, and they need to know the Bible to know how to live together…how can we educate the population when they cannot read? We can show them pictures…pictures in glass, backlighted by the sun. The bigger the window, and the more space we have and the more Bible stories we can tell. You know, the only problem we have? The walls keep falling down and killing all the workers and our budgets…how do we open up the walls with bigger windows? The Pope doesn’t understand our structural limitations. He just wants bigger stained glass windows…He says we have a story to tell, so figure it out.
Flying buttresses will support the walls, windows will get bigger and the Pope will like me as his architect. As today, there have always been new innovations developed in materials and structural engineering to solve society’s problems.
Now that our buildings don’t have to be solid stone, concrete & steel allow the holes in the wall to be much much bigger…and people are learning to read so we don’t have to tell Bible stories with our windows, so let’s get rid of the stained glass and make the hole clear. The spaces can be more decorative and the holes in the wall can be larger…Freedom!
Or, with an all glass building…there actually is no wall and it is all “hole”. Energy problems! Holes in our walls have changed society, made our buildings liveable, educated our people, transformed the design of our architecture…our architecture speaks to who we are. Holes in the wall have created our history. The design of these holes has impacted our world. The design of holes in the wall will continue to impact our future.