I can assure that Herzog´s explanation convinced me from the very beginning.
Caixa Forum building is one of my favourite buildings in Madrid,because it is not just a building, made of a brick or steel structure.
It´s an opened construction, that participates with the city and its particular skyline and remarkable points. It is a place where you can rest from the city rush, it also contains a useful access which determinates the relationship that the city will keep with it. I perfectly remember that a Teacher used to say at school “Making buildings is making cities”, and Caixa Forum is an outstanding sample of that.
Try to remember every important building that you have studied, such as George Pompidou Centre, San Peter Cathedral, Campidoglio Piazza, The Pantheon…and remember that each one of those has a wonderful square preceding it.
Think about the Nolli´s plane for Rome in the 18th Century, and you will realize at once why Herzog´s speech should be so important for everyone who wants to work as an Architect.