Denys Lasdun (Hardcover)
ISBN : 9780714828718
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Denys Lasdun is a major British architect of the twentieth century whose work has long since achieved international recognition. In this first, in-depth study to place his contribution in a historical perspective. William Curtis delves into the ideas and guiding myths behind Lasdun's forms and shows how his architecture fits into both the British and international modern movements, and how it is indebted to classical and earlier traditions.The study is based upon exhaustive study of primary documentary sources and over twenty years of dialogue with the architect. It sheds light on the meaning of such key works as the Bethnal Green housing clusters (1952-4), the Royal College of Physicians (1959), the University of East Anglia (1962), the European Investment Bank, Luxembourg (1973) and the Hurva Synagogue project for Jerusalem (1979). Two chapters are devoted to the social history and design process of the National Theatre, first for the unbuilt project for a National Theatre and Opera House (1965), and then for the finished National Theatre alone on its present site (1967). Transactions between architect and society are central to the study.The book explores Lasdun's idea of architecture as 'urban landscape', in which buildings are thought of as 'hills and valleys', with towers, terraces and platforms (sometimes called 'strata') forming the generic features. It also deals with the ways in which he has extended the principles of the modern masters into new expressive territories, especially in the design of institutional buildings. Lasdun has absorbed, and transformed, influences as diverse as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Mackintosh and Hawksmoor, but behind his work there is also a driving preoccupation with institutions, the city and 'nature'.Lasdun is a unique figure who cannot be slotted into any 'ism'. His work rests on a foundation of consistent principles and transcends passing fashions. At a time when discussions of modern architecture frequently resort to caricature, this is a well-documented and well-balanced assessment supplying invaluable insights into British architectural history of the past sixty years, and contributing to a much fuller understanding of the notion of a modern tradition.
Specification of Denys Lasdun
|Author||William J.R. Curtis|
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