Utopias and Architecture  book cover
1st Edition

Utopias and Architecture

ISBN 9780415700856
Published August 24, 2005 by Routledge
352 Pages

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Book Description

Utopian thought, though commonly characterized as projecting a future without a past, depends on golden models for re-invention of what is. Through a detailed and innovative re-assessment of the work of three architects who sought to represent a utopian content in their work, and a consideration of the thoughts of a range of leading writers, Coleman offers the reader a unique perspective of idealism in architectural design.

With unparalleled depth and focus of vision on the work of Le Corbusier, Louis I Kahn and Aldo van Eyck, this book persuasively challenges predominant assumptions in current architectural discourse, forging a new approach to the invention of welcoming built environments and transcending the limitations of both the postmodern and hyper-modern stance and orthodox modernist architecture.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Utopias & Architectures?  Part 1: Conceptualizing Utopias  Architecture & Orientation.  Situating Utopians.  Real Fictions.  Varieties of Architectural Utopias.  Post War Possibilities.  Part 2: Optimistic Architectures  Le Corbusier's Monastic Ideal.  The Life Within.  Fairy Tales & Golden Dust.  Kahn & Salk's Challenge to Dualistic Thinking.  Aldo van Eyck's Utopian Discipline.  Story of Another Idea.  The Unthinkability of Utopia.  Into the Present. 

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Nathaniel Coleman first studied architecture at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York, and continued his education at the Rhode Island School of Design. He also studied Urban Design at City University of New York and practiced in New York and Rome. He completed his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, where Joseph Rykwert was his supervisor. He is particularly interested in how ordinary architectural elements can be fitted together to form evocative assemblages comprehensible at the moment of bodily perception, and also in the interdependency of research and teaching in architecture, landscape and urban design. Currently a Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Urban Design and a member of the Centre for Tectonic Cultures Research Group at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Coleman previously taught in the US.