Book picks similar to
Architecture of the Absurd: How "Genius" Disfigured a Practical Art by John Silber
The Works: Anatomy of a City
Kate Ascher - 2005
When you flick on your light switch the light goes on--how? When you put out your garbage, where does it go? When you flush your toilet, what happens to the waste? How does water get from a reservoir in the mountains to your city faucet? How do flowers get to your corner store from Holland, or bananas get there from Ecuador? Who is operating the traffic lights all over the city? And what in the world is that steam coming out from underneath the potholes on the street? Across the city lies a series of extraordinarily complex and interconnected systems. Often invisible, and wholly taken for granted, these are the systems that make urban life possible. The Works: Anatomy of a City offers a cross section of this hidden infrastructure, using beautiful, innovative graphic images combined with short, clear text explanations to answer all the questions about the way things work in a modern city. It describes the technologies that keep the city functioning, as well as the people who support them-the pilots that bring the ships in over the Narrows sandbar, the sandhogs who are currently digging the third water tunnel under Manhattan, the television engineer who scales the Empire State Building's antenna for routine maintenance, the electrical wizards who maintain the century-old system that delivers power to subways. Did you know that the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is so long, and its towers are so high, that the builders had to take the curvature of the earth's surface into account when designing it? Did you know that the George Washington Bridge takes in approximately $1 million per day in tolls? Did you know that retired subway cars travel by barge to the mid-Atlantic, where they are dumped overboard to form natural reefs for fish? Or that if the telecom cables under New York were strung end to end, they would reach from the earth to the sun? While the book uses New York as its example, it has relevance well beyond that city's boundaries as the systems that make New York a functioning metropolis are similar to those that keep the bright lights burning in big cities everywhere. The Works is for anyone who has ever stopped midcrosswalk, looked at the rapidly moving metropolis around them, and wondered, how does this all work?
From Bauhaus to Our House
Tom Wolfe - 1981
The strange saga of American architecture in the twentieth century makes for both high comedy and intellectual excitement as Wolfe debunks the European gods of modern and postmodern architecture and their American counterparts.
Siteless: 1001 Building Forms
François Blanciak - 2008
Others may think of it as the last architectural treatise, for it provides a discursive container for ideas that would otherwise be lost. Whatever genre it belongs to, SITELESS is a new kind of architecture book that seems to have come out of nowhere. Its author, a young French architect practicing in Tokyo, admits he "didn't do this out of reverence toward architecture, but rather out of a profound boredom with the discipline, as a sort of compulsive reaction." What would happen if architects liberated their minds from the constraints of site, program, and budget? he asks. The result is a book that is saturated with forms, and as free of words as any architecture book the MIT Press has ever published.The 1001 building forms in SITELESS include structural parasites, chain link towers, ball bearing floors, corrugated corners, exponential balconies, radial facades, crawling frames, forensic housing--and other architectural ideas that may require construction techniques not yet developed and a relation to gravity not yet achieved. SITELESS presents an open-ended compendium of visual ideas for the architectural imagination to draw from. The forms, drawn freehand (to avoid software-specific shapes) but from a constant viewing angle, are presented twelve to a page, with no scale, order, or end to the series. After setting down 1001 forms in siteless conditions and embryonic stages, Blanciak takes one of the forms and performs a "scale test," showing what happens when one of these fantastic ideas is subjected to the actual constraints of a site in central Tokyo. The book ends by illustrating the potential of these shapes to morph into actual building proportions.
The Image of the City
Kevin Lynch - 1960
Lynch, supported by studies of Los Angeles, Boston, and Jersey City, formulates a new criterion -- imageability -- and shows its potential value as a guide for the building and rebuilding of cities. The wide scope of this study leads to an original and vital method for the evaluation of city form. The architect, the planner, and certainly the city dweller will all want to read this book.
The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape
James Howard Kunstler - 1993
The Geography of Nowhere tallies up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that America is paying for its car-crazed lifestyle. It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection. Kunstler proposes that by reviving civic art and civic life, we will rediscover public virtue and a new vision of the common good. "The future will require us to build better places," Kunstler says, "or the future will belong to other people in other societies."The Geography of Nowhere has become a touchstone work in the two decades since its initial publication, its incisive commentary giving language to the feeling of millions of Americans that our nation's suburban environments were ceasing to be credible human habitats. Since that time, the work has inspired city planners, architects, legislators, designers and citizens everywhere. In this special 20th Anniversary edition, dozens of authors and experts in various fields share their perspective on James Howard Kunstler's brave and seminal work.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Jane Jacobs - 1961
In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves. She writes about the salutary role of funeral parlors and tenement windows, the dangers of too much development money and too little diversity. Compassionate, bracingly indignant, and always keenly detailed, Jane Jacobs's monumental work provides an essential framework for assessing the vitality of all cities.
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
Christopher W. Alexander - 1977
It will enable making a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment. ‘Patterns,’ the units of this language, are answers to design problems: how high should a window sill be?; how many stories should a building have?; how much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?More than 250 of the patterns in this language are outlined, each consisting of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seems likely that they will be a part of human nature and human action as much in five hundred years as they are today.A Pattern Language is related to Alexander’s other works in the Center for Environmental Structure series: The Timeless Way of Building (introductory volume) and The Oregon Experiment.
The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses
Juhani Pallasmaa - 1996
This new, revised and extended edition of this seminal work will not only inspire architects and students to design more holistic architecture, but will enrich the general reader's perception of the world around them. The Eyes of the Skin has become a classic of architectural theory and consists of two extended essays. The first surveys the historical development of the ocular-centric paradigm in western culture since the Greeks, and its impact on the experience of the world and the nature of architecture. The second examines the role of the other senses in authentic architectural experiences, and points the way towards a multi-sensory architecture which facilitates a sense of belonging and integration.
Towards a New Architecture
Le Corbusier - 1923
The present volume is an unabridged English translation of the 13th French edition of that historic manifesto, in which Le Corbusier expounded his technical and aesthetic theories, views on industry, economics, relation of form to function, the "mass-production spirit," and much else. A principal prophet of the "modern" movement in architecture, and a near-legendary figure of the "International School," he designed some of the twentieth century's most memorable buildings: Chapel at Ronchamp; Swiss dormitory at the Cité Universitaire, Paris; Unité d'Habitation, Marseilles; and many more.Le Corbusier brought great passion and intelligence to these essays, which present his ideas in a concise, pithy style, studded with epigrammatic, often provocative, observations: "American engineers overwhelm with their calculations our expiring architecture." "Architecture is stifled by custom. It is the only profession in which progress is not considered necessary." "A cathedral is not very beautiful . . ." and "Rome is the damnation of the half-educated. To send architectural students to Rome is to cripple them for life."Profusely illustrated with over 200 line drawings and photographs of his own works and other structures he considered important, Towards a New Architecture is indispensable reading for architects, city planners, and cultural historians―but will intrigue anyone fascinated by the wide-ranging ideas, unvarnished opinions, and innovative theories of one of this century's master builders.
Heidegger for Architects
Adam Sharr - 2007
John Wilson, the work of Martin Heidegger has proved of great interest to architects and architectural theorists.The first introduction to Heidegger's philosophy written specifically for architects and students of architecture introduces key themes in his thinking, which has proved highly influential among architects as well as architectural historians and theorists. This guide familiarizes readers with significant texts and helps to decodes terms as well as providing quick referencing for further reading.This concise introduction is ideal for students of architecture in design studio at all levels; students of architecture pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate courses in architectural theory; academics and interested architectural practitioners. Heidegger for Architects is the second book in the new Thinkers for Architects series.
Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form
Robert Venturi - 1972
This revision includes the full texts of Part I of the original, on the Las Vegas strip, and Part II, "Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed," a generalization from the findings of the first part on symbolism in architecture and the iconography of urban sprawl. (The final part of the first edition, on the architectural work of the firm Venturi and Rauch, is not included in the revision.) The new paperback edition has a smaller format, fewer pictures, and a considerably lower price than the original. There are an added preface by Scott Brown and a bibliography of writings by the members of Venturi and Rauch and about the firm's work. Synopsis Learning from Las Vegas created a healthy controversy on its appearance in 1972, calling for architects to be more receptive to the tastes and values of "common" people and less immodest in their erections of "heroic," self-aggrandizing monuments. This revision includes the full texts of Part I of the original, on the Las Vegas strip, and Part II, "Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed," a generalization from the findings of the first part on symbolism in architecture and the iconography of urban sprawl. (The final part of the first edition, on the architectural work of the firm Venturi and Rauch, is not included in the revision.) The new paperback edition has a smaller format, fewer pictures, and a considerably lower price than the original. There are an added preface by Scott Brown and a bibliography of writings by the members of Venturi and Rauch and about the firm's work. About Author: Biography Steven Izenour (1940-2001)
The Architecture of Happiness
Alain de Botton - 2006
The Architecture of Happiness starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and it argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, this book has at its center the large and naïve question: What is a beautiful building? It is a tour through the philosophy and psychology of architecture that aims to change the way we think about our homes, our streets and ourselves.
Philip Jodidio - 2001
Appropriated, chewed up, mulled over, digested, contemplated, and contorted - gathering up along the way fashion, ecology, politics, and art - architectural concepts become veritable things unto themselves in the present tense. As astoundingly diverse as contemporary architecture is, most importantly it is a reflection of what's happening right now all over the world, in people's minds and in the global collective consciousness. The many faces of world architecture today make for a mind-expanding book. Here you'll find the most recent work of over 60 architects and firms, including familiar names such as O. Gehry, Meier, Ando, Foster, and Starck, as well as a host of newcomers sure to be the architecture-celebrities of future generations. Highlights include Jakob & MacFarlane's morphological Restaurant at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Diller & Scofidio's "Blur Building" proposal for the International Expo 2001 in Switzerland (an ovular structure suspended over a lake, encapsulated by a fine mist of water, creating the look of a cloud hovering over the lake), and Herzog & de Meuron's remarkable Tate Modern. Proving that contemporary architecture is not limited to physical building design, New York firm Asymptote's Guggenheim Virtual Museum is also included, a place where visitors can take a cyber-stroll through rooms that are designed to be "compelling spatial environments." Presented alphabetically by architect or firm, Architecture Now! can be used like a reference guide, with extensive photographs and illustrations, biographical and contact information for designers, and a careful selection of today's most influential architects.