Twenty-Five Buildings Every Architect Should Understand: a revised and expanded edition of Twenty Buildings Every Architect Should Understand
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Twenty-Five Buildings Every Architect Should Understand is an essential companion to Simon Unwin’s Analysing Architecture, and part of the trilogy which also includes his Exercises in Architecture: Learning to Think as an Architect. Together the three books offer an introduction to the workings of architecture providing for the three aspects of learning: theory, examples and practice. Twenty-Five Buildings focusses on analysing examples using the methodology offered by Analysing Architecture, which operates primarily through the medium of drawing.
In this second edition five further buildings have been added to the original twenty from an even wider geographical area, which now includes the USA, France, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, Spain, Finland, Germany, Australia, Norway, Sweden, India and Japan.
The underlying theme of Twenty-Five Buildings Every Architect Should Understand is the relationship of architecture to the human being, how it frames our lives and orchestrates our experiences; how it can help us make sense of the world and contribute to our senses of identity and place. Exploring these dimensions through a wide range of case studies that illustrate the rich diversity of twentieth and twenty-first century architecture, this book is essential reading for every architect.
servant wings) in the Mohrmann House the ‘modern’ (the particularities of Scharoun’s own version of the ‘modern’ will be explored in due course) blends in with the ‘vernacular’. As Peter Blundell Jones has commented (in his monograph Hans Scharoun, Phaidon, 1995, page 12) such restrictive conditions. ‘…would have been fatal to a LudwigMies van der Rohe or a Walter Gropius, whose architecture would have lost its meaning if forced into a “vernacular” mould in this way.’ They certainly affected
traditional house governed, in the main, by the geometry of making–construction using traditional materials. This conformity applies too to the ‘granny flat’ at the house’s western end. But the conformity is merely a screen; like a stage–set it provides the ‘actor’ with an entrance into another world; here one not subject to orthogonal geometry. 6 The heart of the house does not conform to traditional geometries. Here Scharoun seems to be using different criteria for the arrangement of walls,
Märkli’s building lies in its starkness, the alien severity of its rectangular concrete faces set in the rich greenery, blue skies, distant mountains, bright sun and dark shadows of southern Switzerland. It lies too in the way that entering it takes you away from that rich landscape into a monochrome grey, evenly lit series of ‘caves’ inhabited by enigmatic, but apparently tortured, sculpture. Such effects are timeless, and are reinforced by La Congiunta’s elemental simplicity. La Congiunta is
(now in the British Museum in London) depicting the soldiers lost in a battle against the Persians in the fifth century BCE. With its lapiths and soldiers the entablature represents the level of the heroes. At the ends of the temple above the entablature are the pediments. These contain sculptures of the gods and were the highest in the hierarchy represented by the levels of the temple. 6 The stratification of the Villa Savoye may be compared to that of the Parthenon. The residents live at the
brick bench in the entrance lobby/wedding chapel, which is on grid line 3, and its adjacent altar, which is on grid line B; the doorway from the sacristy, which appears to be positioned on that diagonal of the strangely angled wall where it crosses grid line E; and the altar rail, which is also on grid line E. The altar itself does not line up with the grid. There are many other (possible) alignments and correspondences but I shall leave you to speculate for yourself. One final point to notice