Spurred by ideals of individual liberty that took hold in the Western world in the late nineteenth century, psychiatrists and public officials sought to reinvent asylums as large-scale, totally designed institutions that offered a level of freedom and normality impossible in the outside world. This volume explores the "caged freedom" that this new psychiatric ethos represented by analyzing seven such buildings established in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy between the late 1890s and World War I.
In the last two decades of the Habsburg Empire, architects of asylums began to abandon traditional corridor-based plans in favor of looser formations of connected villas, echoing through design the urban- and freedom-oriented impulse of the progressive architecture of the time. Leslie Topp considers the paradoxical position of designs that promoted an illusion of freedom even as they exercised careful social and spatial control over patients. In addition to discussing the physical and social aspects of these institutions, Topp shows how the commissioned buildings were symptomatic of larger cultural changes and of the modern asylum's straining against its ideological anchorage in a premodern past of "unenlightened" restraint on human liberty.
Working at the intersection of the history of architecture and the history of psychiatry, Freedom and the Cage broadens our understanding of the complexity and fluidity of modern architecture's engagement with the state, with social and medical projects, and with mental health, psychiatry, and psychology.
Buy Freedom and the Cage by Leslie Topp from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9780271077109
» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Freedom and the Cage book by Leslie Topp and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)
Leslie Topp is Senior Lecturer in the History of Architecture at Birkbeck, University of London, and the author of Architecture and Truth in Fin-de-SiÃ¯Â¿Â½cle Vienna.
© 2003-2018. All Rights Reserved. Eclipse Commerce Pty Ltd - ACN: 122 110 687 - ABN: 49 122 110 687