Phenomenologies of the City: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Architecture, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Phenomenologies of the City

Studies in the History and Philosophy of Architecture, 1st Edition

By Henriette Steiner, Maximilian Sternberg


304 pages

Look Inside
Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138567436
pub: 2017-11-22
SAVE ~$10.39
Hardback: 9781409454793
pub: 2015-04-08
SAVE ~$27.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315600338
pub: 2016-03-09
from $25.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Phenomenologies of the City: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Architecture brings architecture and urbanism into dialogue with phenomenology. Phenomenology has informed debate about the city from social sciences to cultural studies. Within architecture, however, phenomenological inquiry has been neglecting the question of the city. Addressing this lacuna, this book suggests that the city presents not only the richest, but also the politically most urgent horizon of reference for philosophical reflection on the cultural and ethical dimensions of architecture. The contributors to this volume are architects and scholars of urbanism. Some have backgrounds in literature, history, religious studies, and art history. The book features 16 chapters by younger scholars as well as established thinkers including Peter Carl, David Leatherbarrow, Alberto Pérez-Gomez, Wendy Pullan and Dalibor Vesely. Rather than developing a single theoretical statement, the book addresses architecture’s relationship with the city in a wide range of historical and contemporary contexts. The chapters trace hidden genealogies, and explore the ruptures as much as the persistence of recurrent cultural motifs. Together, these interconnected phenomenologies of the city raise simple but fundamental questions: What is the city for, how is it ordered, and how can it be understood? The book does not advocate a return to a naive sense of ’unity’ or ’order’. Rather, it investigates how architecture can generate meaning and forge as well as contest social and cultural representations.


’For many years now phenomenology has influenced both the theory and the practice of architecture, challenging a still dominant preoccupation with technological innovation and aesthetic uniqueness. But the most pressing challenge facing architecture today, how it is to meet its social and environmental responsibility, has received insufficient attention. Focusing on the city, the present collection of chapters addresses that deficit, where the high quality of the contributions makes this also a tribute to the Cambridge Department of Architecture, with which all the authors have some connection.’ Karsten Harries, Yale University, USA

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Henriette Steiner and Maximilian Sternberg. Part I Urban Order and the Lived City: Convivimus ergo sumus, Peter Carl; Squaring the city: between Roman and Rabbinic urban geometry, Gil P. Klein; Medieval moderns? Cistercians and the city, Maximilian Sternberg; The proximity of difference and the three cities of Copenhagen, Henriette Steiner. Part II Culture and the Natural World: Atmospheric conditions, David Leatherbarrow; Art Nouveau gardens of the mind: bell jars, hothouses, and winter gardens - preserving immanent natures, Amy Catania Kulper; Burning the grove: from the celestial garden to the picturesque landscape in Baroque England, Robert Ferguson; The garden and the city: fragmented dreams of totality, Mari Hvattum. Part III From Fragment to City: Between architecture and the city, Dalibor Vesely; Early debates in modern architectural education: between instrumentality and historical phronesis, Alberto Pérez-Gómez; Gothic of the Murdered God: from the crystal creed to the spirit of abstraction in modern German architecture, Gabriele Bryant; Corporeal spatiality and the restorative fragment in early twentieth-century art and architecture, Dagmar Motycka Weston. Part IV Urban Discontinuities: Agon in urban conflict: some possibilities, Wendy Pullan; A fragment in the city: the Behind the Iron Gate housing estate, Gabriela Åšwitek; The phenomenology of food, Carolyn Steel; Changing places: navigating urbanity in the global South, Matthew Barac. Index.

About the Authors

Henriette Steiner is Associate Professor in the Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and Maximilian Sternberg is a Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Cambridge, UK.

About the Series

Ashgate Studies in Architecture

Ashgate Studies in Architecture
The discipline of Architecture is undergoing subtle transformation as design awareness permeates our visually dominated culture. Technological change, the search for sustainability and debates around the value of place and meaning of the architectural gesture are aspects which will affect the cities we inhabit. This series seeks to address such topics, both theoretically and in practice, through the publication of high quality original research, written and visual. Topics to be covered include the following: Architectural history and theory and their relationship to the development of the discipline, building conservation, heritage and creative adaptation. The formal and aesthetic values of architectural design, the diversity of its expression of identity, and its representation in other media. The impact of technological innovation on the materialisation of architecture and the questions surrounding environmental sustainability, experimentation and visionary design The social and psychological context of architectural production, its relationship to occupants, clients and to other creative and professional disciplines, and the political situation in which it is commissioned. Proposals will be welcomed which explore or connect aspects of these themes. Subjects which deal with individual architects, with specific buildings or building types, and the critical interpretation of historical and contemporary architecture from a theoretical or philosophical perspective are particularly encouraged. Architecture's embodiment of technical, social, and aesthetic aspects will also be emphasised.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban