Architecture as Space: How to Look at Architecture

Architecture as Space: How to Look at Architecture

Architecture as Space: How to Look at Architecture

Architecture as Space: How to Look at Architecture


It is virtually standard procedure for a history or criticism of architecture to begin with an attack on the layman. Nineteen out of twenty of the books cited in our bibliography open with complaints and apologies, such as:

"The public is interested in painting and music, in sculpture and literature, but not in architecture. The intellectual, who would feel ashamed not to recognize a painter of the rank of Sebastiano del Piombo and who would turn pale at being charged with ignorance of a painting by Matisse or of a poem by Éluard, feels perfectly at ease in confessing that he doesn't know who Buontalenti or Neutra might be"; or

"Newspapers devote whole columns to a new book by Koestler or to an exhibition of Morandi, but ignore the construction of a new building, even if it's the work of a famous architect. Whereas every self- respecting newspaper has regular coverage of music, theater, movies and, at the very least, a weekly art column, architecture remains the great unknown"; or

"Just as no adequate means exist for information about good architecture, so there are no effective means for impeding the construction of architectural horrors. There is a certain censorship for films and for books, but not for the prevention of architectural and urban outrages, which have far more serious and lasting consequences than the publication of a pornographic novel," or, finally,

"Nevertheless [and this is where the apologies come in] while everyone is free to shut off the radio, to walk out on concerts, to shun the movies and the theater, and to stop reading a book, no one can close his eyes to the buildings which form the setting of city life and which set man's stamp on the countryside."

The lack of public interest in architecture cannot be considered . . .

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