Yes, those buildings are looking at you

Whether you’re walking through downtown San Francisco, New Orleans, Paris or Rome, there just seems to be a level of comfort and security that you just don’t get in most cities. Some people will say…

“It’s gotta be the windows”.

Just as we subconsciously gauge our comfort level by whether we’re surrounded by friendly faces and welcoming eyes, the buildings have a human character all their own… and the bottom line is, the more humanistic they are, the warmer we feel.

The windows are the eyes of the building. Not only do the windows in the images above have human-like proportions, but just about all of the ones in the most beautiful neighborhoods do. Here’s a simple test – try drawing a face with vertical ovals as eyes next to one with horizontal ovals – which one seems more inviting? As for me, the latter is downright creepy. Now imagine having an entire neighborhood of buildings looking at you like that – that’s most of our environment today.

Or another way to look at it: verticality symoblizes life, humanity, horizontality symbolizes machines (cars, planes, assembly lines).

The same applies to buildings…