A winning book, a pleasure to read...a revelation about what architects actually do and how they go about doing it. -Los Angeles TimesWitold Rybezynski takes us on an extraordinary odyssey as he tells the story of designing and building of his own house. Rybezynski's project began as a workshed; through a series of happy accidents, however, the structure gradually evolved into a full-fledge house. In tracing this evolution, he touches on matters both theoretical and practical, writing on such diverse topics as the distinguished structural descendants of the humble barn, the ritualistic origins of the elements of classical architecture, and the connections between dress and habitation, and between architecture and gastronomy. Rybezynski discusses feng shui, the Chinese art of placing a home in the landscape, and also considers the theories and work of such architects as Palladio, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright. An eloquent examination of the links between being and building, The Most Beautiful House in the World offers insights into the joys of installing ourselves in a place, of establishing a spot where it be safe to dream.
Today, there are more than twenty complete zodiacs in Washington, D.C., each one pointing to an extraordinary mystery. David Ovason, who has studied these astrological devices for ten years, now reveals why they have been placed in such abundance in the center of our nation's capital and explains their interconnections. His richly illustrated text tells the story of how Washington, from its foundation in 1791, was linked with the zodiac, with the meaning of certain stars, and with a hidden cosmological symbolism that he uncovers here for the first time.
Fascinating and thoroughly researched, The Secret Architecture of Our Nation 's Capital is an engrossing book that raises provocative questions and otters complex insights into the meanings behind the mysterious symbols in Washington.
This highly acclaimed book, in both paperback and hardcover editions, is particularly valuable for its unique approach to architectural history. The author explores structures not as separate, neatly labeled museum pieces but as a vital, living continuity across the ages, covering every major milestone of Western architecture in probing detail.
Adept at moving between the examination of modern and contemporary architecture, art, literature and music, Robert Maxwell is a respected scholar whose critical writings articulate the role architecture plays in contemporary culture. In Ancient Wisdom And Modern Knowhow, Maxwell considers the notion of 'doubt' encountered by the modern architect. In ten chapters that draw upon writers and topics as diverse and engaging as Andre Malraux and his concept of the Mus e Imaginaire, Colin Rowe and his exploration of "Mannerism in Modern Architecture" as well as Rowe's book with Fred Koetter, Collage City, and examining works by artists including Albrecht Du?rer, Picasso and Duchamp and architects including James Stirling, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and Daniel Libeskind, Maxwell steps effortlessly through a range of ideas and concepts, to create an engaging and provocative thesis. Ancient Wisdom and Modern Knowhow is the second of two new books to be published by Artifice books on architecture by Professor Robert Maxwell, Emeritus Professor of Architecture at Princeton University. The first, A Few Years of Writing Interspersed with some Facts of Life, was published in autumn 2012.
From building blocks to city blocks, an eye-opening exploration of how children's playthings and physical surroundings affect their development.Parents obsess over their children's playdates, kindergarten curriculum, and every bump and bruise, but the toys, classrooms, playgrounds, and neighborhoods little ones engage with are just as important. These objects and spaces encode decades, even centuries of changing ideas about what makes for good child-rearing--and what does not. Do you choose wooden toys, or plastic, or, increasingly, digital? What do youngsters lose when seesaws are deemed too dangerous and slides are designed primarily for safety? How can the built environment help children cultivate self-reliance? In these debates, parents, educators, and kids themselves are often caught in the middle. Now, prominent design critic Alexandra Lange reveals the surprising histories behind the human-made elements of our children's pint-size landscape. Her fascinating investigation shows how the seemingly innocuous universe of stuff affects kids' behavior, values, and health, often in subtle ways. And she reveals how years of decisions by toymakers, architects, and urban planners have helped--and hindered--American youngsters' journeys toward independence. Seen through Lange's eyes, everything from the sandbox to the street becomes vibrant with buried meaning. The Design of Childhood will change the way you view your children's world--and your own.
Nicholas Grimshaw is one of the pre-eminent figures of the British architectural scene. alongside Lord Norman Foster and Lord Richard Rogers he is a leading light of the high-tech movement, responsible for some of the outstanding buildings of the last decade. The period 1965-1988, which is covered in this volume of his work, established his reputation worldwide as a master architect of great subtlety.
The East Wall was where the final battles for the stricken Third Reich were fought, amid scenes of utter carnage. Beginning life at the end of World War I, the wall became a pet project of Adolf Hitler's, whose ascent to power saw building work accelerated, with plans for a grand, 'Maginot-style' defence put in place. But with a characteristically erratic change of heart, Hitler began to systematically strip the wall of its best defensive assets to bolster the Atlantic Wall, never dreaming that he would face an attack on two fronts. Despite belated and somewhat bungled reinforcements later in the War, the Eastern Wall would face a monstrous challenge as it became the Reich's last redoubt in the face of the mighty Soviet war machine.
Neil Short brings his expert knowledge to bear with an analysis of different stages of the wall's construction, the years of neglect and decay and the hasty, drastic redevelopment in the face of the looming Soviet threat.
From the opening sentences of his first book on architecture, Home, Witold Rybczynski seduced readers into a new appreciation of the spaces they live in. He also introduced us to an unerringly lucid writer who knows how to translate architectural ideas into layman's terms (The Dallas Morning News). Rybczynski's vast knowledge, his sense of wonder, and his elegantly uncluttered prose shine on every page of his latest meditation on the art of building.
Looking Around is about architecture as an art of compromise--between beauty and function, aspiration and engineering, builders and clients. It is the story of the Seagram Building in New York and the Wexner Center for the Visual Arts in Columbus, Ohio--a museum that opened without a single painting on view, so that critics could better appreciate its design. But what of the visitors who want a building that displays art well? What of those who work in the building? Looking Around explores the notion of the architect as superstar and assesses giants from Palladio to Michael Graves, styles from classicism to high tech. It demonstrates how architecture actually works--or doesn't--in corporate headquarters, airports, private homes, and the special buildings designed to represent our civilization.
For all its erudition, Looking Around is also bracingly straightforward. Rybczynski looks closely and critically at structures that may once have dazzled us with their ostentation and expense, and sees them as triumphs or failures--of aesthetic ideals and of lasting function. This is a fascinating and illuminating book about an art form integral to our lives.
re]TOKYO explores a wide, understanding vision of the transformative processes of one of the most influential and unknown metropolitan areas in the world, from large scale efforts such as Tokyo's land engineering transformations, to smaller examples such as its capital vending machine system. Four hundred pages, compiling 400 years of history, are covered in this uniquely Japanese complexity of social conurbation, including more than 1400 illustrations, diagrams, photographs, and maps in order to visually support selected themes. re]TOKYO develops the idea of re]definition processes to explain what, who, when, where, and why all these changes took place, concluding with a collection of the essential processes that comprehensively elaborate Tokyo's changes--a tool to understand its history and speculate about its future as an exciting metropolis and cultural center of the world.