Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture

Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture

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By (author) Kenneth Frampton, Volume editor John Cava

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  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Format: Paperback | 448 pages
  • Dimensions: 216mm x 277mm x 23mm | 1,429g
  • Publication date: 10 October 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge, Mass.
  • ISBN 10: 0262561492
  • ISBN 13: 9780262561495
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 485 illus.
  • Sales rank: 100,675

Product description

Kenneth Frampton's long-awaited follow-up to his classic A Critical History of Modern Architecture is certain to influence any future debate on the evolution of modern architecture.Studies in Tectonic Culture is nothing less than a rethinking of the entire modern architectural tradition. The notion of tectonics as employed by Frampton -- the focus on architecture as a constructional craft -- constitutes a direct challenge to current mainstream thinking on the artistic limits of postmodernism, and suggests a convincing alternative. Indeed, Frampton argues, modern architecture is invariably as much about structure and construction as it is about space and abstract form.Composed of ten essays and an epilogue that trace the history of contemporary form as an evolving poetic of structure and construction, the book's analytical framework rests on Frampton's close readings of key French and German, and English sources from the eighteenth century to the present. He clarifies the various turns that structural engineering and tectonic imagination have taken in the work of such architects as Perret, Wright, Kahn, Scarpa, and Mies, and shows how both constructional form and material character were integral to an evolving architectural expression of their work. Frampton also demonstrates that the way in which these elements are articulated from one work to the next provides a basis upon which to evaluate the works as a whole. This is especially evident in his consideration of the work of Perret, Mies, and Kahn and the continuities in their thought and attitudes that linked them to the past.Frampton considers the conscious cultivation of the tectonic tradition in architecture as an essential element in the future development of architectural form, casting a critical new light on the entire issue of modernity and on the place of much work that has passed as "avant-garde."A copublication of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies and The MIT Press.

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Author information

Kenneth Frampton is Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University.

Review quote

"Kenneth Frampton's book approaches a very importantissue for understanding the way in which architects proceed: the continuity between form and construction. But to establish this continuity doesn't simply mean to accept pure constructive determinism, and Frampton's book helps us to comprehend that beside whatever technical discovery there is always the architect's effort to produce form. Using the work of outstanding contemporary architects such as Utzon and Scarpa, Frampton is able to show how architectural talent is manifested in continuous form invention." Rafael Moneo , Professor of Architecture, Harvard University "Kenneth Frampton's book approaches a very important issue for understanding the way in which architects proceed: the continuity between form and construction. But to establish this continuity doesn't simply mean to accept pure constructive determinism, and Frampton's book helps us to comprehend that beside whatever technical discovery there is always the architect's effort to produce form. Using the work of outstanding contemporary architects such as Utzon and Scarpa, Frampton is able to show how architectural talent is manifested in continuous form invention." Rafael Moneo, Professor of Architecture, Harvard University

Table of contents

Introduction - reflections on the scope of the tectonic; Greco-Gothic and neo-Gothic - the Anglo-French origins of tectonic form; the rise of the tectonic - core form and art form in the German Enlightenment, 1750-1870; Frank Lloyd Wright and the text-tile tectonic; Auguste Perret and classical rationalism; Mies van der Rohe - avant-garde and continuity; Louis Kahn - modernization and the New Monumentality, 1944-1972; Jorn Utzon - transcultural form and the tectonic metaphor; Carlo Scarpa and the adoration of the joint; postscriptum - the tectonic trajectory, 1903-1994; the owl of Minerva - an epilogue.