they are there. they are 2000+ years old. what do they mean to us today? in my research, i’ve read a lot on the idea of monuments. there are monuments that are built to me monuments, such as war memorials, and that kind of thing. then there are monuments that are monuments because they are just old. then there is monumental architecture…which is something else. what is the difference between a monument and a memorial?

once again, let me consult the oxford english dictionary.

monument, n. 

a statue, building, or other structure erected to commemorate a notable person or event.

a statue or other structure placed over a grave in memory of the dead

a building, structure, or site that is of historical importance or interest

an enduring and memorable example of something


okay, so it appears that a monument has a broader definition than “memorial”; it does not have to be in memory of something or someone, but can also be expressive of a civilization or idea.

architects louis kahn and aldo rossi were around during the same time, sometime after the height of modernism and before postmodernism. they both spent time studying ruins and the layering of history within cities. this is evident in both of their work. it is apparent that they rejected the lightness, transparency (and ultimately transience) of modernism, and strove to create heavy, pure forms that will survive as monuments of their generation.