Item description for The Formal Basis of Modern Architecture: Dissertation 1963, Facsimile by Peter Eisenman...
In 1963 at the University of Cambridge, Peter Eisenman --- world famous for his Holocaust Memorial in Berlin (2005) and respected and feared by his colleagues for his intellectual acuity and quick-wittedness --- wrote a dissertation on the formal basis of modern architecture. In it, the architect confronts historicism with theory and the analysis of form, whose distinguishing features he regards as the foundation of architectural composition. Eisenman illustrates his observations with numerous, extremely precise hand drawings. This striking document, with its idiosyncratic photographs, fully deserves to be published here, for the first time, in a faithful reproduction of the original. In an afterword, Peter Eisenman discusses this remarkable starting point of his practical and theoretical work.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 11.75" Height: 12.25" Weight: 3.85 lbs.
Release Date Jul 20, 2006
Publisher Lars Müller Publishers
ISBN 3037780711 ISBN13 9783037780718
Availability 0 units.
More About Peter Eisenman
About the Authors: Peter Eisenman is founder of both Eisenman Architects and the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York. He is the 1984 recipient of the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Michael Graves is founder of the Michael Graves architechtural firm in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the recipient of numerous AIA National Honor awards as well as several Progressive Architecture Design awards. Charles Gwathmey is founder of Gwathmey, Siegel, and Associates, Architects in New York. His recent projects include the design for The Science, Industry, and Business Library branch of the New York Public Library. John Hejduk is Dean at the School of Architecture at Cooper Union. BRichard Meier is founder of Richard Meier and Partners in New York.
Peter Eisenman has an academic affiliation as follows - Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies, New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about The Formal Basis of Modern Architecture: Dissertation 1963, Facsimile?
Seminal Text on 20th-Century Formalism Oct 11, 2006
This text cannot serve as an introduction to Eisenman's theories, and it lacks the breadth of other histories of modernism and the depth of Eisenman's own tome on Giuseppe Terragni. Yet it is a crucial hinge between the development of modern formalism in the early 20th century and its subsequent permutations in structuralism, poststructuralism, and beyond. Its succinct chapters present formal principles that Eisenman once hoped would be "universally valid," going so far as to claim that his theory touched on "the formal essence of any architecture." In the ensuing decades, he has cannily moderated his claim to universal validity. Eisenman's theory is very much tied to a particular historical moment, but this is in fact its great strength: his architecture owes its criticality to his conscious foregrounding of the formal process peculiar to the modern period.
If the dissertation's flaws are clear in hindsight (as Eisenman readily admits), its analyses, diagrams, and theories quiver with the intellectual vigour necessary to sustain a long-term critical project; it is a fine example of the kind of historiographic underpinnings necessary for such an oeuvre. Just as Colin Rowe in 1975 decried architecture's contemporary "anachronism, nostalgia, and, probably, frivolity" (Introduction to Five Architects: Eisenman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier), young designers might lament the architectural culture of today for "bypassing humanity's true concerns and retroactively dealing only with surface and superfluous stimulation" (Pier Vittorio Aureli and Manuel Orazi, "The Solitude of the Project" in Log 7, 2006). Such architects should study and emulate this seminal document.