Burnt Norton is the first of the Four Quartets, one of T.S. Eliot’s key works. In its first five lines, the word “time” appears seven times with surprising reiteration:
“Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future. And time future contained in time past. If all time is eternally present all time is unredeemable”.
This metaphysical time that poets express so well is the same time that those of us dedicated to creation seek to capture. It is a central theme of architecture.
In this text, I would like to analyze why some architectural spaces are able to stir up such an inner commotion within us, and insist this feeling is inextricably linked to the sensation suspended time at the intersec- tion of beauty and truth. Although it may seem an abstract concept or theme more properly pertaining to poetry or philosophy, this suspen- sion of time occurs with an especially palpable force only in architectu- re. When we stand before or inside of certain architectural spaces, time seems to stop, suspend itself, and become tangible to human beings.