The City Crown by Bruno Taut: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The City Crown by Bruno Taut

1st Edition

By Matthew Mindrup, Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis


218 pages

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Paperback: 9781138572324
pub: 2017-10-12
Hardback: 9781472421999
pub: 2015-07-28
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pub: 2016-03-09
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This book is the first English translation of the German architect Bruno Taut’s early twentieth-century anthology Die Stadtkrone (The City Crown). Written under the influence of World War I, Taut developed The City Crown to promote a utopian urban concept where people would live in a garden city of ’apolitical socialism’ and peaceful collaboration around a single purpose-free crystalline structure. Taut’s proposal sought to advance the garden city idea of Ebenezer Howard and rural aesthetic of Camillo Sitte’s urban planning schemes by merging them with his own ’city crown’ concept. The book also contains contributions by the Expressionist poet Paul Scheerbart, the writer and politician Erich Baron and the architectural critic Adolf Behne. Although the original German text was republished in 2002, only the title essay of The City Crown has previously been translated into English. This English translation of Taut’s full anthology, complete with all illustrations and supplementary texts, fills a significant gap in the literature on early modern architecture in Germany and the history of urban design. It includes a translators’ preface, introduction and afterword to accompany the original composition of essays, poems, designs and images. These original texts are accompanied by illustrations of Taut’s own designs for a utopian garden city of 300,000 inhabitants and over 40 additional historic and contemporary examples. The new preface to The City Crown explains the premise for the English translation of Taut’s anthology, its organization and the approaches taken by the translators to maintain the four different voices included in the original work. Matthew Mindrup’s introduction critically examines the professional and intellectual developments leading up to and supporting Bruno Taut’s proposal to advance the English garden city concept with a centralized communal structure of glass, the city crown. Through the careful examination of original


’This English translation of Bruno Taut's The City Crown with informative essays by Matthew Mindrup and Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis is a welcome addition to an understanding of this important modernist architect. The essays place The City Crown in the context of Taut's other utopian books, his extensive work in housing, and within the broader history of the early twentieth century.’ Rosemarie Bletter, City University of New York, USA

Table of Contents


About the Authors

Matthew Mindrup is Senior Lecturer of Architecture at the University of Sydney. An architect by training, Matthew completed a Ph.D. In Architecture and Design at Virginia Tech University in 2007 on the physical and metaphysical coalition of two architectural models assembled by Kurt Schwitters in the early 1920s. Dr Mindrup's ongoing research in the history and theory of architectural design locates and projects the implications that materials have in the design process. Dr. Mindrup has presented some of this research at conferences and published others in The Journal of Architectural Education (JAE), Interstices, Wolkenkuckucksheim and his edited volume The Material Imagination: Reveries on Architecture and Matter from Ashgate Publishing. Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis is Associate Professor at the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Prior to this position, she has taught at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in Germany and at the Washington Alexandria Architecture Center of Virginia Tech. Ulrike is a registered architect in the United States as well as in Germany and has practised in both countries. In 2008 she earned her Doctoral degree at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar on contemporary school architecture in Finland. She investigated the correlation between pedagogical concepts and the spatial arrangements that best support teaching and learning. Ulrike’s ongoing research focuses on translations of seminal German texts on architecture as well as on educational buildings and the impact of the built environment on human wellbeing and performance. Ulrike has presented her findings at numerous national and international conferences and her writings have been published in the USA, Germany, Switzerland and Turkey.

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.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning