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First of all I was influenced by old buildings I looked at.

People builded, I don't know the


name, and I don't know what it was, you know, mostly very simple buildings. And I…
as… when I was really young, you know, not even twenty years old, I was impressed,
you know, by the strength of these old buildings, you know, because they didn't even
belong to any epoch, you know. But they were there for a thousand years and still there,
you know, and still impressive, and nothing could change it, you know. And all the
styles, the great styles, passed, but they were still there, didn't lose anything.

When I worked with Peter Behrens he had a great sense of… a great form… That was
his main interest, and that I certainly understood and learned from him. I was lucky
enough, you know, when I came to the Netherlands and was confronted with Berlage's
work. XXX was the construction, but made the strongest impression,

I cannot tell you at the moment where I read it, but I know I read it somewhere, that
architecture belongs to the epoch and not even to the time, to real epoch.
Since I understood that, I would not be for fashion in architecture. I would look for more
profound principles. And since I know by reading and studying books that we are under
the influence of science and technology, I would ask myself “What can that be? What
result comes from this fact? Can we change it, or can we not change it?”. And the
answer to this question, you know, gave me the direction which I followed, not what I
liked. I throw often things out I like very much. They are dear to my heart, but when I
have a better conviction, a better idea, a clearer idea, then I follow the clearer idea. And
after a while, you know, I find the Washington Bridge most beautiful, the best building in
New York. Maybe at the beginning I wouldn’t. That grew. But first I had to conquer the
idea and later I appreciated it as beauty.

So you sought what was characteristic of the epoch… [pregunta que no sale en la
grabación]

What is the essence of the epoch. And that is the only thing we can express, and what
is worth to express.

Thomas Aquinus, he says, “Reason is the first principle of all human work”. Now when
you have grasped that once, you know, then you act accordingly. So I would throw
everything out what is not reasonable.

I don't want to be interesting. I want to be good.

You know, you find often in books that have nothing to do with architecture, very
important things. Erwin Schrödinger, you know, this physicist, he talks here about
general principles, and he said “The creative vigor of a general principle depends
precisely on its generality”. And that is exactly what I think about when I talk about
structure in architecture. It is not a special solution. It is the general idea.
Sometimes people say “And how do you feel if somebody copies you?” and so on, I say
that is not a problem to me —I think that is the reason why we are working, that we find
something everybody can use. We hope only that he use it right.