1st Edition

The Latent World of Architecture Selected Essays

Edited By Alexandra Stara, Dalibor Vesely, Peter Carl Copyright 2023
    330 Pages 81 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    330 Pages 81 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book features thirteen essays by the late architect, philosopher and teacher Dalibor Vesely (1934–2015). Vesely was a leading authority on philosophical hermeneutics and phenomenology in relation to architecture worldwide, and influenced a generation of thinkers, teachers and practitioners. This collection presents the full range of his writing, drawing primarily from the history of art and architecture, as well as philosophy, theology, anthropology and ecology, and spanning from early antiquity to modernism. It composes a multifaceted and globally relevant argument about the enduring cultural role of architecture and the significance of its history. The book, edited and introduced by Vesely’s teaching partner at Cambridge Peter Carl and former student Alexandra Stara, and with a foreword by David Leatherbarrow, brings to light new and hard-to-access material for those familiar with Vesely’s thought and, at the same time, offers a compelling introduction to his writing and its profound relevance for architecture and culture today. 


    Foreword | David Leatherbarrow

    Introduction | Peter Carl and Alexandra Stara

    1. Architecture and the Limits of Modern Theory

    2. Architecture and the Question of Technology

    3. The Architectonics of Embodiment

    4. The Relation of Religion and Science

    5. Architecture and Ethics in the Age of Fragmentation

    6. The Hermeneutics of the Latent World of Architecture

    7. Architecture as a Humanistic Discipline

    8. Elements of Architecture and their Meaning

    9. Mathesis Universalis in the Jesuit Tradition

    10. Surrealism and Latent World of Creativity

    11. Czech New Architecture and Cubism

    12. Spatiality, Simulation and the Limits of the Technological Imagination

    13. Between Architecture and the City

    Illustration Credits



    Alexandra Stara is associate professor and reader in the history and theory of architecture at Kingston University London and a qualified architect in her native Greece, with Masters degrees from UCL and the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of Oxford. She has been lecturing and publishing on art and architecture for the past three decades.

    Peter Carl taught graduate design and the graduate programme in the history and philosophy of architecture at the University of Cambridge with Dalibor Vesely for 30 years. He then established the PhD programme in architecture at London Metropolitan University, where he was professor until his retirement. He has lectured and taught internationally, publishing a body of work that interprets architectural and urban order in terms of phenomenological hermeneutics.

    "Authoritative, compelling and original scholarship… The present collection is also noteworthy because of the clarity and intelligence of the introductory presentation of Vesely and his ideas; and because of the cohesive sequence of the essays, positioning not only one after the other but because of the other, presenting an overall stance with respect to architecture’s role in culture and its history."

    David Leatherbarrow, University of Pennsylvania School of Design, USA

    "This is an excellent collection of Vesely’s essays, some published for the first time, which will be appreciated by a broad audience, not just architectural academics. The choice and order of chapters is very well considered and demonstrates the range and depth of Vesely’s scholarship. The introduction is beautifully written and perfectly situates the essays."

    Nicholas Temple, London Metropolitan University, UK

    "Vesely’s scholarship is outstanding… This is a long overdue collection that has been eagerly awaited by architects, historians and theorists for many years. It is a significant contribution to architectural thinking and makes important material available for new readers."

    Mari Hvattum, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Norway