1st Edition

Post-Western Histories of Architecture

    244 Pages 36 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book seeks to provide an alternative post-Western perspective to the history of contemporary architecture. It puts forward detailed critical analyses of various areas of the world, including Europe, Latin America, Africa, China, Australia, India and Japan, where particular movements of architecture have developed as active ‘political acts’.

    The authors focus on a broad spectrum of countries, architectures and architects that have developed a design approach closely linked to the building context. The concept of context is broad and includes various economic, social, cultural, political and natural aspects. In all cases, the architects selected in this book have chosen to view context as an opportunity. However, each architect has considered certain specific aspects of context: some have been very attentive to the social context, others to material aspects or typological issues, and still others to aspects related to political visions or economic factors. The analysis critically highlights interesting, creative and respectful design approaches towards local conditions, such as sustainability in Nordic Europe, climate-conscious design in Africa, and the ‘bottom-up’ sensitivity of India. The book’s main aim is to retrace, through both theoretical arguments and case studies, the debate that focuses on politics and the environment. Thanks to its valuable examples, this book strives to make a conscious contribution to establishing a bulwark against the current ‘flattening-out’ processes that architecture is experiencing.

    This book will be of relevance to researchers, teachers and students interested in the history of architecture, architecture and planning, and postcolonial studies.


    List of Images


    1. Architecture as a ‘Political Act’

    2. A Dialogue with Tradition: the Case of Italy

    3. Principles of North-European Sustainability

    4. The Construction of the Indian Identity

    5. The Latin American Political Context and its Architecture

    6. Using the African Context

    7. ‘Indirect’ Context: the Case of Japan

    8. China and the Re-Invention of Tradition

    9. Re-embracing the Aboriginal Model: Australia

    10. Context as an Opportunity. A Way of Viewing Architecture

    List of Works




    Pilar Maria Guerrieri is an architectural historian who has lived between Italy, the UK and India for almost ten years. She has a PhD in Architectural Composition and a second degree in Philosophy. Currently, she teaches History of Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy. She is the author of Maps of Delhi (Niyogi, 2017), Negotiating Cultures: Delhi’s Architecture and Planning from 1912 to 1962 (Oxford University Press, 2018) and Egizio Nichelli Architetto (1937–1991) (Franco Angeli, 2022).

    Marco Biraghi is a professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy, where he teaches History of Contemporary Architecture. His published works include Project of Crisis: Manfredo Tafuri and Contemporary Architecture (The MIT Press, 2013), Storia dell’architettura italiana 1985–2015 (with S. Micheli, Einaudi, 2013), L’architetto come intellettuale (Einaudi, 2019), Questa è architettura. Il progetto come filosofia della prassi (Einaudi, 2021) and Storia dell’architettura contemporanea II 1945–2023 (Einaudi, 2023).