Towns and Buildings
212 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: February 15, 1969
- Published: March 15, 1969
Today's bustling tourism has proved itself a double-edged sword: on the one hand it acquaints great numbers of people with cities and sights they might otherwise have missed; on the other it focuses on individual landmarks that the city as a whole is obscured and confused. Steen Eiler Rasmussen concentrates here on the town as a unity, as a whole composed of buildings and places.
Most of the town plans are scaled to 1:20,000 for easy over-all comparison; several famous places are reduced to 1:2000 for closer comparison. The buildings are for the most part presented in three views: the first, en face: then the same view, minus the façade; and finally a top view, as if the upper stories had been removed. The result is a picture not of static façade and monument but of rooms and houses and towns where people live.
Whatever city Mr. Rasmussen studies—Peking, Rome, London, Paris, Copenhagen—he sees it as a whole, as a particular monument to the special way of life lived by its builders. His view has in it something of the monumentary imaginative sweep of Henry Adams and Lewis Mumford.
Christian Science Monitor