The Rationalist Reader : Architecture and Rationalism in Western Europe 1920–1940 / 1960–1990 book cover
1st Edition

The Rationalist Reader
Architecture and Rationalism in Western Europe 1920–1940 / 1960–1990

ISBN 9780415604369
Published October 10, 2013 by Routledge
408 Pages

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Book Description

The Rationalist Reader incorporates the first documentary collection of writing on rationalism in twentieth century architecture, providing an accessible introduction to the subject, direct insight into the thinking of individual architects and their critics, and a current re-evaluation of the context from which they emerged.

Key texts, including new translations, are placed within a wider historical and philosophical context by Alan Colquhoun, and considered with particular reference to nineteenth century architectural theory by Charles Rattray. Two separate documentary sections address the thinking behind rationalist architecture within the Modern Movement and ‘Rational Architecture’ as its counterpart within Neo-rationalism. German architectural historian Thilo Hilpert and Dutch architect and critic Henk Engel, provide introductions to the two periods, while Cambridge historian Nicholas Bullock contributes a linking piece focused on French experience post-war. A postscript samples retrospective views.

The two sets of ‘documents’, identified with the periods 1920–1940 and 1960–1990, are arranged under comparative headings, allowing the reader to establish correspondences between the key themes of rationalist architecture.

When the ‘historical’ experience of many young architects is confined to ‘masters’ and ‘iconic buildings’ located within the general flux of modernity, here the trajectory of rationalism in twentieth century architecture is seen to veer between a scientific methodology identified with generic models, and a formal paradigm of typological consistency. With its immediate philosophical origins in Enlightenment culture, the development of rationalism in nineteenth century architecture prefaced the volatility of later interpretations of rationalist architecture outlined and documented in this book.

Table of Contents

Preface;  Introduction;  Documents One 1920-1940;  Rationalist Architecture: Type-Form and History;  The New City;  The Logic of Construction – Rationalization;  Industrial Production and the Collective;  Rationalism in Retrospect;  Addendum;  Documents Two 1960-1990;  Architecture and the City;  Logical Construction and Autonomy;  Reproduction and Tradition;  Neo-rationalism in Retrospect;  Postscript

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Andrew Peckham teaches architecture at the University of Westminster. His current research interests focus on the publication of architecture and the culture of rationalism. His ‘Cataloguing Architecture’ is forthcoming in Literatures, Libraries, and Archives and he is currently working on a new book, Architecture and its Imprint.

Torsten Schmiedeknecht is a senior lecturer at the School of Architecture, University of Liverpool. He is an architect and has worked in practice in Germany, Greece, France and the UK. Aside from his research into rationalism, recent and forthcoming publications include papers on architectural competitions and their impact on mainstream architecture, as well as edited volumes on the relationship between fame and architecture.