Skip navigation

Architecture

  • Page 3 of 4

Between the late Renaissance and the early nineteenth century, the ancient arts of architecture were being profoundly transformed by the scientific revolution. This important book, which won the 1984 Alice Davis Hitchcock Award, traces the process by which the mystical and numerological grounds for the use of number and geometry in building gave way to the more functional and technical ones that prevail in architectural theory and practice today. Throughout, it relates the major architectural treatises of successive generations to the larger culture and the writings of philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and engineers.

The book leads the reader through the controversy that was generated by Claude Perrault in the seventeenth century. His writings began to cast doubt on the absolute aesthetic value of the classical orders and the "perfect" proportions that were architecture's legacy from Pythagorean times. Thus the once immutable "invisible" system lost its special status forever. The book focuses in particular on eighteenth-century developments in the science of mechanics and emerging techniques in structural analysis which slowly entered the architectural treatises and found their way into practice, often by way of civil and military engineers. And by the nineteenth century, the book notes, even architectural rendering and drawing were radically changed through the introduction of new descriptive and projective geometries.

Tracing these fundamental changes in architectural intentions, Pérez-Gómez challenges many popular misconceptions about the theory and history of modern architecture. At the same time, he suggests an intangible loss, that of a culture's power to express through a building its total mathematical, mystical, and magical world-view.

This book is a critical reappraisal of contemporary theories of urban planning and design and of the role of the architect-planner in an urban context. The authors rejecting the grand utopian visions of "total planning" and "total design," propose instead a "collage city" which can accommodate a whole range of utopias in miniature.

This new edition of Kevin Lynch's widely used introductory textbook has been completely revised; and is also enriched by the experience of Lynch's coauthor, Gary Hack. For over two decades, Site Planning has remained the only comprehensive source of information on all the principal - activities and concerns of arranging the outdoor physical environment. Now, new illustrations double the visual material and one hundred pages of new appendixes cover special techniques, provide references to more detailed technical sources, and put numerical standards in a concise form.An introduction summarizes the site planning process. This is followed by a case study of a typical professional project and ten chapters which provide new materials on user analysis, programming, site planning for built places, housing tenures and their planning implications, cost estimating, mapping, the reading of air photographs, site design for housing in developing countries, design strategies, environmental impact analyses, and many others - all illustrated with in-text photographs and line drawings and with Lynch's characteristic marginal sketches.Kevin Lynch is Professor Emeritus of City Planning at MIT and à partner in Carr, Lynch Associates. Gary Hack is Head of the Department of Urban Studies and planning at MIT

With the publication of The Image of the City in 1959, Kevin Lynch embarked upon the process of exploring city form. Good City Form, first published in hardcover under the title A Theory of Good City Form, is both a summation and an extension of his vision, a high point from which he views cities past and possible. 

Volume 2: 1860-1976

The second volume of a guide comprehensive guide to American Architecture, covering developments between the years 1860 and 1976.

A Social History of Housing in America
Ebenezer Howard, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier
A History of Feminist Designs For American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities

Long before Betty Friedan wrote about "the problem that had no name" in The Feminine Mystique, a group of American feminists whose leaders included Melusina Fay Peirce, Mary Livermore, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman campaigned against women's isolation in the home and confinement to domestic life as the basic cause of their unequal position in society.

The Grand Domestic Revolution reveals the innovative plans and visionary strategies of these persistent women, who developed the theory and practice of what Hayden calls "material feminism" in pursuit of economic independence and social equality. The material feminists' ambitious goals of socialized housework and child care meant revolutionizing the American home and creating community services. They raised fundamental questions about the relationship of men, women, and children in industrial society. Hayden analyzes the utopian and pragmatic sources of the feminists' programs for domestic reorganization and the conflicts over class, race, and gender they encountered.

This history of a little-known intellectual tradition challenging patriarchal notions of "women's place" and "women's work" offers a new interpretation of the history of American feminism and a new interpretation of the history of American housing and urban design. Hayden shows how the material feminists' political ideology led them to design physical space to create housewives' cooperatives, kitchenless houses, day-care centers, public kitchens, and community dining halls. In their insistence that women be paid for domestic labor, the material feminists won the support of many suffragists and of novelists such as Edward Bellamy and William Dean Howells, who helped popularize their cause. Ebenezer Howard, Rudolph Schindler, and Lewis Mumford were among the many progressive architects and planners who promoted the reorganization of housing and neighborhoods around the needs of employed women.

In reevaluating these early feminist plans for the environmental and economic transformation of American society and in recording the vigorous and many-sided arguments that evolved around the issues they raised, Hayden brings to light basic economic and spacial contradictions which outdated forms of housing and inadequate community services still create for American women and for their families.

The Modern Movement

Let it be said at once that the format of this work is richly handsome: it is a two-volume boxed set comprising 844 pages and well over 1,000 high-quality illustrations, and it reflects throughout its publisher's conviction that good design is an essential, not superficial, part of bookmaking.

Beyond that, it should be emphasized that this work is not another facile cultural tour of modern architecture. It is a serious and original study of the beginnings and development of modernism in which the pictorial aspects are designed to aid in the communication of the author's closely reasoned formulations, rather than to gloss over a lack of substantive content.

The book is a translation of the third Italian edition, published in 1966. Benevolo, who is on the faculty of architecture in Venice, has earned an international reputation as a historian of architecture and town planning, and his publications embrace the span of time from the Renaissance to the foreseeable future. One such publication, The Origins of Modern Town Planning (The MIT Press, 1967), may be read as a prelude to the present work as well as an independent contribution. Perhaps more than any other architectural historian in our time, Benevolo has made a determined effort to place developments in design and planning in their proper social and political settings.

Indeed, the author argues that the development of the modern movement in architecture was determined, not by aesthetic formalisms, but largely by the social changes that have occurred since about 1760: "After the middle of the eighteenth century, without the continuity of formal activity being in any way broken, indeed while architectural language seems to be acquiring a particular coherence, the relations between architect and society began to change radically.... New material and spiritual needs, new ideas and modes of procedure arise both within and beyond the traditional limits, and finally they run together to form a new architectural synthesis that is completely different from the old one. In this way it is possible to explain the birth of modern architecture, which otherwise would seem completely incomprehensible...."

This second volume is concerned with the modern movement proper, from 1914 to 1966. The author emphasizes the unity of the movement, rejecting the usual treatment that allots to the individual architects separate and unconnected biographical accounts.

Benevolo remarks at one point, "When one talks about modern architecture one must bear in mind the fact that it implies not only a new range of forms, but also a new way of thinking, whose consequences have not yet all been calculated." His main concern is to provide a more exact calculation of those consequences.

The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form

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.

  • Page 3 of 4