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From Publishers Weekly
Something of a maverick in architectural circles, Vienna-based architect Krier ( Urban Space ) finds most modern buildings ugly and banal, yet he looks to Le Corbusier for guiding principles on linking form to function. Rejecting "organic" architecture inspired by Antonio Gaudi, Krier upholds principles of symmetry and geometry; eclectically, he seeks out examples of good design as he moves from a Yugoslavian fishmarket to an ancient Hindu temple. This chunky primer attempts to formulate a set of ground rules for architects and builders, yet when Krier gets to a discussion of proportions, he throws up his hands, exclaiming, "There are no rules . . . only experience can help us"; he then follows up with minutely detailed analyses of proportions in the human face, seashells, Gothic cathedrals and da Vinci's sketches of horses. Lively, very readable, combative, this delightful tome is generously illustrated with hundreds of photographs, sketches and lovingly shaded color drawings that illuminate key points.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
We have come full circle. Seventy-five years ago, at the height of the academic, or Beaux Arts, period in Western architecture, books on architectural composition abounded, spreading the gospel of academic design from Paris to the hinterlands. This book, by an internationally known architect and professor at the Technical University of Vienna, harkens back to this period, parsing its approach into discrete operations and elements based on precedent. The approach is typological rather than holistic or technological, thereby throwing off the yoke of design as a species of problem solving that characterized so much colorless architecture in the mid-20th century. For architectural pedagogy as a primer on design. Peter Kaufman, Sch. of Architecture, Florida A & M Univ., Tallahassee
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
'It is my aim to rehabilitate an architecture that has become dishonoured and disgraced.'
Rob Krier is a unique voice in today's architectural discourse through his commitment to developing a relevant and pragmatic theory of architecture based on his own experience and observations of architectural practice and opposed to the easy, abstract theorising so common in contemporary architectural writing. Together with his brother Leon, he has perfected a form of presentation in which the potency of his thinking finds its perfect counterpoint in detailed drawings and sketches which argue his case visually through the power of example. Following the success of his widely acclaimed Urban Space, a work which looked at the problems of our cities from a historical, theoretical and practical standpoint, Krier now applies his particular, highly influential mode of didactic criticism to contemporary architecture in a continuing search for fundamental architectural truths.
Architectural Composition is both a theortetical and visual analysis which clearly illustrates the creative process which informs Krier's vision and praxis. The culmination of a lifetime's thought and experience by one of Europe's most important architectural theorists, it is without doubt a major achievement and will become a standard work of reference for both students and practising architects.
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