The Architecture of Continuity: Essays and Conversations
The state of contemporary architecture is the product of a 150-year battle between the Polytechnic and the Fine Arts that has forced us into today's stalemate, one in which architecture is caught in the gaping chasm between a materialistic high-tech and an expressionistic formalism. Nevertheless, Spuybroek's aim is to mend such a rift by rethinking technology as part of our sensory apparatus, materiality as the realm of activity and agency, and structure as the product of genesis.
Building on Gottfried Semper's materialist theory of architecture, Spuybroek takes us from a philosophy of technology to a surprisingly historical argumentation that insistently revives the words of John Ruskin, William Hogarth and Wilhelm Worringer. The book includes several probing essays alongside extensive conversations in which we can see Spuybroek refine and sharpen his arguments. He makes statements such as 'No, I am not a Gothic Revivalist, but almost,' or 'We should use new instruments to address old architectural problems; not to create new problems,' and even 'We should reinvent tectonics, not do away with it.' In a period of calm with regard to architectural theorization this book makes a refreshing return to the basics, thereby realigning theory, methodology and architectural form.
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