Gottfied Semper was the most important German theorist of the nineteenth century. From his first published essay on Greek polychromy in 1834 to his final lecture on the origin of architectural styles in 1869, Semper persistently endeavoured to fashion a comprehensive architectural theory explaining the meaning and transformational nature of architectural form. The breadth and richness of his ideas, both applauded and opposed at the turn of the twentieth century, proved enormously influential in the development of modern theory. Originally published in 1989, this book provides an English translation of a number of Semper's published writings. The introduction seeks to trace the course of Semper's theoretical development over thirty-five years. Semper's ideas, like those of his contemporaries, John Ruskin and Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, had enormous influence on the genesis of modern architectural theory and will appeal to both architectural historians and architects.
The enduring influence of the architect Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) derives primarily from his monumental theoretical foray Der Stil in der technischen und tektonischen Kunsten (1860-62), here translated into English for the first time. A richly illustrated survey of the technical arts (textiles, ceramics, carpentry, masonry), Semper's analysis of the preconditions of style forever changed the interpretative context for aesthetics, architecture, and art history. Style, Semper believed, should be governed by historical function, cultural affinities, creative free will, and the innate properties of each medium. Thus, in an ambitious attempt to turn nineteenth-century artistic discussion away from historicism, aestheticism, and materialism, Semper developed in Der Stil a complex picture of stylistic change based on scrutiny of specific objects and a remarkable grasp of cultural variety. Harry Francis Mallgrave's introductory essay offers an account of Semper's life and work, a survey of Der Stil, and a fresh consideration of Semper's landmark study and its lasting significance."
As the first comprehensive encyclopedic survey of Western architectural theory from Vitruvius to the present, this book is an essential resource for architects, students, teachers, historians, and theorists. Using only original sources, Kruft has undertaken the monumental task of researching, organizing, and analyzing the significant statements put forth by architectural theorists over the last two thousand years. The result is a text that is authoritative and complete, easy to read without being reductive.
Designs completed by polytekton between 1990 and 1997, including drawings, etchings, photographs, architexts, sculptures, ceramic pieces, and architectural projects.
The Evolution of Designs
Author: Philip Steadman, Professor of Urban and Built Form Studies Philip Steadman
This book tells the history of the many analogies that have been made between the evolution of organisms and the human production of artefacts, especially buildings. It examines the effects of these analogies on architectural and design theory and considers how recent biological thinking has relevance for design. Architects and designers have looked to biology for inspiration since the early 19th century. They have sought not just to imitate the forms of plants and animals, but to find methods in design analogous to the processes of growth and evolution in nature. This new revised edition of this classic work adds an extended Afterword covering recent developments such as the introduction of computer methods in design in the 1980s and ‘90s, which have made possible a new kind of ‘biomorphic’ architecture through ‘genetic algorithms’ and other programming techniques.
Author: Katie Lloyd Thomas
Bringing together texts and work by theorists and practitioners who are making material central to their work, this book reflects the diverse areas of inquiry which are expanding current material discourse. Focusing on the cultural, political, economic, technological and intellectual forces which shape material practices in architecture, the contributors draw on disciplines ranging from philosophy, history and pedagogy to art practice and digital and low-tech fabrication. By paying critical attention to material, a wide range of issues emerge which are otherwise excluded from architectural discourse, issues that shape and determine the buildings we make, the processes we use and the ways we understand them. Beautifully illustrated and designed, this book is a unique collection which will be of great interest to architectural practitioners and theorists who want to consider the wider implications of material practice, and to students who are developing their own approach to making buildings.
The Ideal Museum
Author: Gottfried Semper, Peter Noever
Publisher: Schlebrugge Editor
Edited by Peter Noever. Text by Peter Noever, Andrew Benjamin, Harry Francis Mallgrave, Isabella Nicka.
The average lifespan of a house is somewhere around 100 years. During that time it will see many mutations in household composition and related spatial rituals. Designers are therefore faced with the task of giving form to something that is constantly subject to change. Many studies into flexibility focus on the changeable, on movable partitions and variation in the internal layout. The present study takes not the changeable but the permanent as its departure-point. The permanent--i.e. the more durable component of the house or building--constitutes the frame within which change can take place, while the frame defines the generic space, the space in which change can occur.
Containing over 6,000 entries from Aalto to Zwinger and written in a clear and concise style, this authoritative dictionary covers architectural history in detail, from ancient times to the present day. It also includes concise biographies of hundreds of architects from history (excluding living persons), from Sir Francis Bacon and Imhotep to Liang Ssu-ch'eng and Francis Inigo Thomas. The text is complemented by over 260 beautiful and meticulous line drawings, labelled cross-sections, and diagrams. These include precise drawings of typical building features, making it easy for readers to identify particular period styles. This third edition of The Oxford Dictionary of Architecture has been extensively revised and expanded, with over 900 new entries including hundreds of definitions of garden and landscape terms such as Baroque garden, floral clock, hortus conclusus, and Zen garden-design. Each entry is followed by a mini-bibliography, with suggestions for further reading. With clear descriptions providing in-depth analysis, it is invaluable for students, professional architects, art historians, and anyone interested in architecture and garden design, and provides a fascinating wealth of information for the general reader.
The global resources situation and the climate crisis are amongst the biggest challenges faced by mankind today. In the years to come, these issues will no doubt have an influence on societal evolution, on urban and rural land development, and how we define our cultural identities. These and related issues will be reflected in the world of architecture. In recent years many countries with high energy consumption have made the energy-related requirements for buildings more stringent; the new rules apply to the resources used for construction as well as to those used in the operation of buildings. In the future, these new requirements will have a major impact on the design of buildings. It will not be sufficient merely to increase the insulation thickness or to make the building envelope more airtight. Solutions of this type have an adverse impact on the architectural design, on the construction practices, on the indoor environment and on options for making buildings flexible so that they can be adapted for diverse uses over time. Equally important in terms of its impact on architectural quality is the challenge posed by the continuous growth of industrialisation. The move from craft-based construction methods to computer-controlled production processes now used in industrialised manufacturing has resulted in strict standards, established at design level, being imposed on the process as it takes place on the building site, creating an "assembly architecture" that no longer depends on the locally available materials, on local cultural traditions or on the specific physical context. In this book, ideas, design principles and practices that relate to tectonics in architecture are explored, and a series of themes are discussed in relation to various concepts of ecology. Ecology is, in this case, defined in its widest sense, which includes the cycling of resources, systems of social organisation and the environmental context. Tectonics a concept with a long tradition in architecture and architectural theory is comparable to ecology. It relates to the design and assembly of structural elements, and implies a holistic approach to materials, to construction technology and to the design of structures. It is more than merely an instrumental strategy: it extends into the poetic, which elevates it to the status of a cultural practice. This book is part of a research project conducted by leading academics associated with the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, the Aarhus School of Architecture and the Danish Building Research Institute. With contributions from a wider network of academic experts and from practicing architects, it provides the first comprehensive representation of contemporary tectonic thought and practices in architecture, tonic thinking and practice in architecture."
Author: Harry Francis Mallgrave
Publisher: Yale University Press
In this engrossing biography of Semper - the first written on this architect - Harry Mallgrave presents a comprehensive account of the life, buildings, and writings of the man he describes as a colossus of the nineteenth century.