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Last Landscapes: The Architecture of the Cemetery in the West: Death and the Architecture of the Cemetery in the West Paperback – 26 Sep 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (26 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186189161X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861891617
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.5 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 944,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken Worpole is the author of many books and studies on architecture, landscape and urban design, and adviser on public policy to the UK government, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and the Heritage Lottery Fund. He is a Senior Professor at The Cities Institute, London Metropolitan University. The Independent newspaper wrote that, 'For many years Ken Worpole has been one of the shrewdest and sharpest observers of the English social landscape.'

Product Description


'In this thoughtful book, Ken Worpole records an astonishing variety of attempts to render death acceptable after the event' -- New Statesman 1 March 2004

A richly humane and engrossing book which incorporates a huge range of sources. . . warm, compassionate, intelligent and thought-provoking. -- BUILDING DESIGN, November 28, 2003

Contains many truths and insights . . . could help to stimulate much-needed changes in the way we design for death. -- THE ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW, February 2004

Ken Worpole's excellent new book . . . takes us on a journey, accompanied by evocative photographs . . . -- Church Times, January 9, 2004

leaves the reader full of afterthoughts . . . one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking books of the year. -- The Independent , November 24, 2003

About the Author

Ken Worpole is the author of a number of influential studies of the contemporary urban public realm and other aspects of urban policy. His books include Towns for People (1993), Libraries in a World of Cultural Change (1995), People, Parks and Cities (1996), and Here Comes the Sun: Architecture and Public Space in Twentieth Century European Culture (Reaktion, 2001). He is married to Larraine Worpole, photographer.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jan on 31 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A modern look at burial sites and architecture. Many beautiful memorials and a few bizarre ones. Worth reading for all levels of interest.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Thoughtful and Insightful 2 Jan. 2009
By Michael Pecen - Published on
Format: Paperback
For landscape architects, historians and planners, this book is an excellent study of burials and memorials in Western cultures. It helped me see U.S. cemeteries and their art in a greater context. Much of the book discusses how burial/memorial places relate to daily life, and speculates how such places will change along with changes in Western society.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Last Landscapes 22 Dec. 2012
By ruthie - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ken Worpole provides a unique look at the architecture of the cemetery in the West. The cross cultural perspectives on death, cemeteries, and memorials was very interesting. I also read the book with the concept of sustainability in mind and found the information on re-use of graves and natural burials to be thought-provoking. This book is worth reading.
An oddly interesting look at one aspect of landscape architecture. 20 Feb. 2015
By lyndonbrecht - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book delivers exactly what it promises. It is nicely written, well illustrated and the content informative. Considering the cemetery as landscape architecture is an interesting idea. A book on this topic could play on the fascination of the morbid, but this book does not. It is a real study and the implied comparisons among various countries are fascinating.

For me, the account of the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris is the most fascinating. There the famous dead are elbow to elbow almost like elegantly stacked cordwood. The development of cemeteries that are designed like parks is also fascinating. Could Central Park have influenced the trend?

One wonders why the fairly common European custom of renting a grave for a specified period and then tossing the bones in a charnel house or common grave never took hold in the USA. Lots of land? A sense of propriety?
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