What is scale?

“The usual definition of scale is the relationship of the human dimension to the environment. We talk about a building being “in scale” or “out of scale,” which is really nonsense. Most buildings that really count have multiple scales. Buildings need to be understandable in their varying dimensions – sight, sound, smell, relationship to their environment, their spot on the globe, materials, climate, the mode of approaching, modes of movement (i.e., walking, automobile, train, subway, bus, plane), etc. All of this is modified by our cultural memory and the twentieth-century contributions to transportation. The quickly moving vehicle has transformed the possibilities of scale as an architectural tool to help remind us of our humanity. Our modes of transportation will change in unpredictable ways, but the population explosion ensures that “getting there” will be with us for some time, and this changes our understanding of the environment.”
Interview with Peter Blake included in “Paul Rudolph: The Late Work.” 2003.