The Built, the Unbuilt & the Unbuildable
In Pursuit of Architectural Meaning
By (author) Robert Harbison
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Built, the Unbuilt & the Unbuildable by Robert Harbison
Book DescriptionThe pristine, the ruined, the ephemeral, and even the notional are the subject of Robert Harbison's highly original and admittedly romantic contribution to the literature of architecture. His fresh perceptions open this practical art to new interpretations as he explores the means by which buildings, real or imagined, evade or surpass functional necessities while sometimes satisfying them.What fascinates Harbison in these discussions are the paradoxes and ironies of function that give rise to meaning, to a psychological impact that may or may not have been intended. He chooses examples from an architectural borderland - of gardens, monuments, ideal cities and fortification, ruins, paintings, and unbuildable buildings -where use and symbolism overlap; he examines the exceptions at the edges of a field that will illuminate its center.Harbison's pursuit of man's efforts to "fashion art from nonhuman life" begins with a consideration of gardens and the organic architecture of the English Arts and Crafts movement and of Gaudi, then turns to monuments (Claes Oldenburg, Christo, the Vietnam Memorial) that are "either the nearest or the furthest thing from gardens." Harbison's discussion of fortification and urban planning leads to metaphorical themes (fort-features in churches or prisons or Fascist municipal buildings) and mocked-up worlds (Williamsburg, Disneyland), and to the subject of fictional space as expressed in ruins, in painting, in the unbuildable, and finally in the inconceivable as revealed in Kafka's sketches.Robert Harbison has lectured widely on architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the University of Toronto, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the Architectural Association, London. His previous books include Eccentric Spaces, Deliberate Regression, and Pharaoh's Dream.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780262581226
(231mm x 157mm x 12mm)
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 31-Dec-1991
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Robert Harbison
Ruins and Fragments, Hardback (May 2015)
Ruins and Fragments is a wide-ranging, elliptical, engaging view of the history of modernity through the lens of the ruined and fragmentary. It explores literary fragments such as the plays of Aeschylus, as well as how writers - Joyce, Coleridge, Pound, T. S. Elliot - exploit fragmentary techniques and forms.
Travels in the History of Architecture, Paperback (January 2011)
Robert Harbison's book is a broad ranging approach that frequently ventures outside perceived boundaries and presents a fresh view of the history of architecture based on close readings of choice examples, from ancient temples to twenty-first-century museums.
Reflections on Baroque, Paperback (September 2003)
This text offers a reinterpretation of the 17th-century Baroque style and the cultural and political interests that gave rise to it. Robert Harbison looks at the architecture, art, scenography, music, poetry and literature of the period and he explores the metamorphoses of Baroque ideas and works.
Eccentric Spaces, Paperback (April 2000)» View all books by Robert Harbison
The subject is the human imagination--and the mysterious interplay between the imagination and the spaces it has made for itself to live in: gardens, rooms, buildings, streets, museums and maps, fictional topographies, and architectures. The book is a lesson in seeing and sensing the manifold forms created by the mind for its own pleasure.
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Author Biography - Robert Harbison
Robert Harbison has lectured widely on architecture at the Museum of Modem Art in New York, the University of Toronto, Stanford University, Cornell University, and the Architectural Association, London. His previous books include Eccentric Spaces, Deliberate Regression, and Pharaoh's Dream.
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