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Hardcover | Out of Print | 212 pp. | 6 x 9 in | March 1969 | ISBN: 9780262180290
Paperback | $38.00 Short | £31.95 | 212 pp. | 6 x 9 in | February 1969 | ISBN: 9780262680110
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Towns and Buildings


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.

About the Author

Steen Eiler Rasmussen was Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and Visiting Professor at M.I.T., Yale, Pennsylvania, and the University of California, Berkeley, and lectured widely at universities in Europe and the United States. He was author of London: The Unique City, called "the best book on London as a town,” and other books.


“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