"A great translator, when approaching a poem or piece of prose, does not just translate each word for word with an outstanding technical competence, but goes further, bringing the reader's focus onto the weft and weave of the piece, understanding the texture and real meaning as much as the language itself.
Hugh Buchanan is an outstanding translator of the language of Classical architecture. It is a language that many have forgotten how to speak, driven to incoherence by the lack of a clear vocabulary in the Babel of contemporary architecture and townscape. Classical architecture of all ages - Ancient Greek, Roman, Palladian, Neo-Classical and, sadly rarely, modern Classical - all use the same vocabulary. At its most simple, this includes a base, a column, a capital and some form of entablature. It creates a dialogue across cities, across time and across cultures. The vestiges of this vocabulary are to be found in every modern house churned out by the mass house builders as an echo of a forgotten time - their products still include a skirting board, which acts as the base for the column of the wall. However, the capital, which in a domestic setting forms the decorative plasterwork cornice, has been lost, at best to a piece of plastic coving."
CAPITALS OF THE MIND by Adam Wilkinson