New from DOM publishers:
Sergei Tchoban / Vladimir Sedov
Architecture as a Balancing Act
Never before have so many buildings been constructed as today, and never has architecture had so many technological and design possibilities at its disposal. And we must, as ever, make our built environments as pleasant as possible. After all, they affect our health, well-being, and productivity. Yet there is a sense of unease permeating the present state of contemporary architecture.
The German-Russian architect Sergei Tchoban and Russian art theorist Vladimir Sedov investigate this sense of unease in 30:70. Architecture as a Balancing Act. They pose the question: what has contemporary architecture lost that it had in the past, and what has it gained? The authors take the reader on a foray through 2,500 years of architectural history before finally arriving at the anomaly of modernism. They show how in modern times we have lost the balance between architectural icons and the background structures that surround them, and explore how architectural details and new aesthetic sensibilities have influenced this development. Their key insight is that we have lost our intuition for what is natural in a building, because today every building strives to assert itself in relation to all others – to drown them out if it can. The authors conclude by putting forward a way out of this predicament, presenting what contemporary architecture must take into account if it is to achieve a satisfactory, coherent architectural landscape in a new way. In order to develop a ‘harmony of contrasts’ in the cityscape, they suggest a ratio of 30:70 between iconic buildings and background architecture.
The authors approach the question posed at the start, regarding the sense of unease about contemporary architecture, both historically and empirically. They journey through the history of western architecture, with illustrative drawings by Sergei Tchoban that will delight all lovers of architecture. Rather than presenting a series of iconic buildings, the authors explore what we are looking for – and missing – in contemporary architecture and modern cities. The book also features a foreword by Bernhard Schulz, who comments on and places the book in the wider context of architectural discourse.
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