Reckoning with Colin Rowe : Ten Architects Take Position book cover
1st Edition

Reckoning with Colin Rowe
Ten Architects Take Position

ISBN 9780415741552
Published March 4, 2015 by Routledge
178 Pages

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Book Description

While the first half of the 20th century in architecture was, to a large extent, characterized by innovations in aesthetics (accompanied by succinct and polemical manifestoes), the post-war decades saw emerge a more refined and intellectual disciplinary framework that eventually metamorphosed into the highly theory-focused moment of the 'postmodern'. Colin Frederick Rowe (1920 - 1999) was a leader of this epistemic shift due to his aptitude to connect his historical and philosophical erudition to the visual analysis of architecture.

This book unites ten different perspectives from architects whose lives and ideas intersected with Rowe’s, including:

  • Robert Maxwell
  • Anthony Vidler
  • Peter Eisenman
  • O. Mathias Ungers
  • Léon Krier
  • Rem Koolhaas
  • Alan Colquhoun
  • Robert Slutzky
  • Bernhard Hoesli
  • Bernard Tschumi
  • With an introduction by Emmanuel Petit and a postscript by Jonah Rowen

In their critical assessment of a key 20th century formalist, these renowned architects reflect on how their own positions came to diverge from Rowe’s. Reckoning with Colin Rowe is a thought-provoking discussion of key schools, places, concepts and people of architectural theory since the post-war years, illustrated with over forty beautiful black and white drawings and photographs.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  Introduction: Rowe After Colin Rowe  Part 1: Mannerism  1. Robert Maxwell  Mannerism and Modernism: The Importance of Irony  2. Anthony Vidler  Reckoning with Art History: Colin Rowe's Critical Vision  3. Peter Eisenman  Bifurcating Rowe  Part 2: Opposing Zeitgeist  4. O. Mathias Ungers  He Who Did Not Understand the Zeitgeist  5. Léon Krier  Unresolved Encounters with Colin Rowe  6. Rem Koolhaas  Being O.M.U.'s Ghost-writer  Part 3: Transparency, Collage, Montage  7. Alan Colquhoun  Transparency Revisited  8. Robert Slutzky  To Reason with One's Vision  9. Bernhard Hoesli  Transparent Form-Organization as an Instrument of Design  10. Bernard Tschumi  Montage: Deconstructing Collage  Postscript: Jonah Rowen  Comparing Comparisons in Colin Rowe  Contributor Bios  Image Credits  Index

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Emmanuel Petit studied architecture at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland, and received his PhD in history and theory of architecture from Princeton University, USA. He has taught at Yale, USA; Harvard, USA; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, as associate professor and visiting associate professor, respectively; and is currently Sir Banister Fletcher Visiting Professor at The Bartlett School of Architecture in London, UK. He is the author of Irony, or the Self-critical Opacity of Postmodern Architecture (2013).


"Now, fifteen years after his death, Emmanuel Petit takes stock of Rowe’s ideas through an interesting compilation of essays by individuals who have acknowledged their debt to the master, including Vidler, Eisenman, Ungers, Krier, and Koolhaas."ArquitecturaViva 181