This book brings to light central topics that are neglected in
current histories and theories of architecture and urbanism. These
include the role of imitation in earlier centuries and its
potential role in present practice; the necessary relationship
between architecture, urbanism and the rural districts; and their
counterpart in the civil order that builds and uses what is built.
The narrative traces two models for the practice of architecture.
One follows the ancient model in which the architect renders his
service to serve the interests of others; it survives and is
dominant in modernism. The other, first formulated in the fifteenth
century by Leon Battista Alberti, has the architect use his talent
in coordination with others to contribute to the common good of a
republican civil order that seeks to protect its own liberty and
that of its citizens. Palladio practiced this way, and so did
Thomas Jefferson when he founded a uniquely American architecture,
the counterpart to the nation's founding. This narrative gives
particular emphasis to the contrasting developments in architecture
on the opposite sides of the English Channel. The book presents the
value for clients and architects today and in the future of drawing
on history and tradition. It stresses the importance, indeed, the
urgency, of restoring traditional practices so that we can build
just, beautiful, and sustainable cities and rural districts that
will once again assist citizens in living not only abundantly but
also well as they pursue their happiness.
|Country of origin:
Carroll William Westfall
||Electronic book text
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