The Look of Architecture

The Look of Architecture

Book - 2001
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What is style in architecture? "Style is like a feather in a woman's hat, nothing more," said Le Corbusier, expressing most modern architects' low regard for the subject. But Witold Rybczynski disagrees, and in The Look of Architecture, he makes a compelling case for the importance of style tothe mother of the arts. This is a book brimming with sharp observations--that form does not follow function; that the best architecture is not timeless but precisely of its time; that details do not merely complement the architecture--details are the architecture. But the heart of the book illuminates the connectionbetween architecture, interior decoration, and fashion. Style is the language of architecture, Rybczynski writes, and fashion represents the wide--and swirling--cultural currents that shape and direct that language. The two, style and fashion, are intimately linked--indeed, architecture cannotescape fashion. To set these ideas in sharp relief, he shows us how style and fashion have been expressed in the work of major architects--including Frank Gehry, Mies van der Rohe, Charles McKim, Allan Greenberg, Robert Venturi, Enrique Norten, and many others. He helps us see their works anew andultimately to look afresh at our surroundings. Style is one of the enduring--and endearing--aspects of architecture, Rybczynski concludes. Furthermore, an architecture that recognizes the importance of style would not be as introspective and self-referential as are so many contemporary buildings. It would be part of the world--notarchitecture for architects, but for the rest of us.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
ISBN: 9780195134438
Branch Call Number: 721 RYB
Characteristics: xiv, 130 p. : ill.


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May 29, 2017

Three brief lectures, each one overly filled with unnecessary name dropping. But the point of view is humane and unsystematic and avoids the ludicrous terminology of architectural criticism.

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