In retrospect it is clear that the laws of the costume ball have governed Manhattan’s architecture.

Only in New York has architecture become the design of costumes that do not reveal the true nature of repetitive interiors but slip smoothly into the subconscious to perform their roles as symbols. The costume ball is the one formal convention in which the desire for individuality and extreme originality does not endanger collective performance but is actually a condition for it.

Like the beauty contest, it is a rare format in which collective success is directly proportionate to the ferocity of individual competition. New York’s architects, by making their Skyscrapers compulsively competitive, have turned the entire population into a jury. That is the secret of its continuing architectural suspense. – Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas

My wife and I are enchanted by cities, to me the skyline is a living history of symbols, full of unexplored narratives that we take for granted daily. Koolhaas went as far as to say that skyscrapers are monuments not buildings.

monuments ~ something created to commemorate a person or important event…

What’s remarkable about cities is that because of their collective strength ‘desires for individuality’ and ‘extreme originality’ do not eclipse ‘collective performance’ or identity, no matter how strong those desires or innovative thoughts may be. Skyscrapers in cities remind me of spiritual gifts and the ecclesia.

ecclesia ~ a gathering of the ‘called out ones’…

The apostles said things like, ‘many parts, one body,’ and ‘many gifts, but one Spirit’. The ecclesia or Church is like a city. Its collective performance – worship & mission – is so strong that individuals gifts and callings do not out weigh the one Name the ecclesia is called by, the one Spirit who gives such gifts to them richly, and the one Father they seek to obey in loving faithfulness. This is the secrete of the ecclesia’s continuing architectural suspense.

Its maker and builder is God…