Synopses & Reviews
Why Architecture Matters
is not a work of architectural history or a guide to the styles or an architectural dictionary, though it contains elements of all three. The purpose of Why Architecture Matters
is to and#8220;come to grips with how things feel to us when we stand before them, with how architecture affects us emotionally as well as intellectuallyand#8221;and#8212;with its impact on our lives. and#8220;Architecture begins to matter,and#8221; writes Paul Goldberger, and#8220;when it brings delight and sadness and perplexity and awe along with a roof over our heads.and#8221; He shows us how that works in examples ranging from a small Cape Cod cottage to the and#8220;vast, flowingand#8221; Prairie houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, from the Lincoln Memorial to the highly sculptural Guggenheim Bilbao and the Church of Santand#8217;Ivo in Rome, where and#8220;simple geometries . . . create a work of architecture that embraces the deepest complexities of human imagination.and#8221;
Based on decades of looking at buildings and thinking about how we experience them, the distinguished critic raises our awareness of fundamental things like proportion, scale, space, texture, materials, shapes, light, and memory. Upon completing this remarkable architectural journey, readers will enjoy a wonderfully rewarding new way of seeing and experiencing every aspect of the built world.
"With a broad topic and a deep reach, this collection of work from New Yorker architecture critic Goldberger reflects on the meanings and effects of architecture, both in the abstract and in everyday life. From specific places like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. ('may be one of the few great architectural works anywhere whose approach is marked only by directional signs, not by a glimpse of the thing itself') to discussion of individual architects (Saarinesen, Lloyd Wright, etc.), Goldberger is clear and direct throughout, occasionally addressing readers directly with questions and thought experiments ('For the next few pages ... think only in terms of what a building looks like when you stand before it') that help recreate the architectural thought process. Sometimes focused too narrowly on the author's own experience (breathlessly recounted memories of architectural epiphany can fall flat), Goldberger occasionally risks alienating readers who lack his enthusiasm. For students and fans of architecture, however, this makes an elegant but energetic tour of building design, aesthetics, construction and inspiration that should encourage new ways of viewing one's surroundings. 55 b & w illustrations." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Paul Goldberger is the architecture critic for The New Yorker and has written the magazine's celebrated "Sky Line" column since 1997. He also holds the Joseph Urban Chair in Design and Architecture at The New School in Manhattan. He began his career at The New York Times, where he received a Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism. Visit the author's website: www.paulgoldberger.com