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The Return of Sacred Architecture: The Golden Ratio and the End of Modernism [Paperback]

Herbert Bangs

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"An inspirational call for a return to the tenets of traditional architecture as a remedy for the dehumanizing standards of modern architecture"--Provided by publisher.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening & Comprehensive Overview of Art & History of Sacred Geometry in Architecture 15 Mar 2007
By Cynthia Sue Larson - Published on
Herbert Bangs brings extraordinary insights into his scholarly yet impassioned exploration of sacred architecture, which is a relatively new and vitally important subject. Bangs presents illustrations and historical accounts of a wide variety of architectural structures, letting the stories of each example demonstrate the points he makes regarding archetypes of shelter (cave, clearing, garden, water, elements), archetypes of design (duality, hierarchy, materials), and resolution of form. Bangs enthusiastically praises those architectural masterpieces which prove themselves to be aesthetically pleasing and livable, and denounces designs which may have been lauded by others, yet actually are tolerable by few. There are reasons why some spaces can lead people to feel relaxed and refreshed... or confused and stressed... and Bangs brilliantly describes the architectural principles and qualities that create these results. THE RETURN OF SACRED ARCHITECTURE is a clarion call for adopting a more intuitive approach to design and a better appreciation for the sources of divine inspiration. I give this book my highest recommendation to everyone, since all of us are at some point involved in designing, buying, visiting, and living in architectural structures.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Especially recommended for any college-level architectural library. 3 Feb 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Both architecture and spirituality collections will relish Return of Sacred Architecture: The Golden Ratio and the End of Modernism: it contrasts and modern religious architectural structure with the grand monuments of the past, revealing how modern dysfunctional buildings bring out the worst in humanity and how ancestral masterworks focus on the best. Architecture once was closer to expressing the sacred between man and cosmos: THE RETURN OF SACRED ARCHITECTURE focuses on the elements of this expression and is especially recommended for any college-level architectural library.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Therapy? 11 Nov 2009
By Patrick Curren - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author does a very good job of describing the pathetic state of contemporary architecture to include all the isms. He starts with the school of the Bauhaus and continues with the concepts of machine age architecture or what was termed the international style and then classifies those associated with the modern movements as "materialists". The author covers interesting flaws associated with celebrated architectural works by famous architects such as Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Gehry. A sampling of his humor is his reference to Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain of which he terms this building "hidiotic", a combination of hideous and idiotic. The intent is to drive home just how inhuman machine architecture "is". I especially enjoyed the spiritual references to Zen and Gnosticism as well as references to Carl Jung's archetypes. The author touches on four archetypes of great architecture such as the cave, the clearing, the garden and water and the associated balance and harmony needed to successfully experience these archetypes in great architecture. Mathematical symbolism is discussed along with the Golden Ratio and two small modern examples are analyzed. Of interest to note is that this book does not contain any architectural gibberish. While I can't say I agree with everything in it, it is easy to comprehend. Andrea Palladio's proportion concepts are covered as architecture as frozen music. I admire the author for having the courage to create such a work. The author has convinced me that architecture has taken a detour towards the "ego" or mind (logic) and has ignored the architecture of the heart/spirit/intuition. Great architecture combines the mind and the heart and thus becomes wholehearted. After living in the contemporary world of "ego architecture", it is refreshing and therapeutic to learn there is another like me in this world.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We Create Our Own Reality 3 July 2008
By Elliot Malach - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Do you wonder why some buildings can change the way you feel? Well wonder no more.

There are certain mathematical ratios that occur repeatedly in the universe, and have been known to the most advanced civilizations preceding us. Most of the currently built structures in the US do not reflect these geometric ratios, and architects do not learn any of this in school. Nowadays it is all about costs and efficiencies. Project managers have more to say about the construction than the architects. Buildings are merely boxes in which we work or things are sold.

As the author reflects, our buildings reflect our current nature. Looks like we're not as advanced as we perceive ourselves to be.
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