Robert Harbison reads architecture as one would read poetry for meaning. Meaning, he finds, resides especially in those works of architecture that are unnecessary, having outlived their physical functions or never having been intended to have any. Gardens, monuments, historic fortifications, and ruins are among the examples he uses to reveal the secret meanings of this architecture "freed from function."
Gardens reveal the relationship between culture and nature, yet in the vast library of garden literature few books focus on what the garden means - on the ecology of garden as idea, place, and action. The Meaning of Gardens maps out how the garden is perceived, designed, used, and valued. Essays from a variety of disciplines are organized around six metaphors special to our time - the garden muses of Faith, Power, Ordering, Cultural Expression, Personal Expression, and Healing. Each muse suggests specific inspirations for garden and landscape design.
Our cities are on the move again. Pioneering observers of the urban landscape Bernard Frieden and Lynn Sagalyn delve into the inner workings of the new public entrepreneurship and public private partnerships that have revitalized the downtowns of such cities as Boston, San Diego, Seattle, St. Paul, and Pasadena. They bring a unique combination of political and economic expertise to their analysis of this hot new marketplace, depicting a generation of mayors and administrators who differ in style from their predecessors and who have a more informed relationship with developers.
A garden classic, The Genius of the Place reveals that the history of landscape gardening is much more than a history of design and style; it opens up a wide perspective of English cultural history, showing how landscape gardening was gradually transformed over two centuries into an art that has been widely imitated throughout Europe and North America.
Hilla and Bernd Becher's cool, objective photographs of industrial structures have earned them a special position in international photography. Although their work is widely collected by American dealers and institutions and shown in New York galleries, this is the first time that it has been published in book form in the United States.The Bechers' 224 photographs of watertowers comprise a unique, single minded, even obsessive mission.
In this imaginative and generously illustrated book, Tadahiko Higuchi applies a methodology to landscape that is similar to that developed by Kevin Lynch for investigating the extent to which urban settings are legible and "imageable" to their inhabitants. He identifies features such as landmarks, boundaries, paths, and nodes that enable people moving through a landscape to piece together a reliable mental map of their surroundings, beginning with major structural elements and filling in with successively finer detail.
In the eighteenth century Paris underwent a remarkable transformation in Western attitudes about life and death. The Architecture of Death traces this change through six pivotal decades, and analyzes the intellectual and social concerns that led to the establishment of a new kind of urban institution - the municipal cemetery. Drawing heavily on new materials and archival sources, supported by nearly 270 plans, photographs, and drawings, the book is not only a definitive work on the design of cemeteries but is also the cultural history of an age.
Aldo Rossi, a practicing architect and leader of the Italian architectural movement La Tendenza, is also one of the most influential theorists writing today. The Architecture of the City is his major work of architectural and urban theory. In part a protest against functionalism and the Modern Movement, in part an attempt to restore the craft of architecture to its position as the only valid object of architectural study, and in part an analysis of the rules and forms of the city's construction, the book has become immensely popular among architects and design students.
What does the city's form actually mean to the people who live there? What can the city planner do to make the city's image more vivid and memorable to the city dweller? To answer these questions, Mr. 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.