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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Colin St. John Wilson, architect of the British Library, pre, 6 Nov 1998
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The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture  Colin St. John Wilson  Academy Editions, 1995, $38 paper, 128 pp., 150 illustrations Reviewed by Lester Paul Korzilius  Approximately 260 words  Published in Oculus, March 1996 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Colin St. John Wilson, architect of the British Library, presents a theory of architecture directly descended from Hugo Haring, and the work of Sharoun and Aalto. The initial CIAM meeting in 1928 at La Sarraz provides the catalyst for Wilson's thesis, where there was a split between the organic theories of Haring (CIAM's secretary), and the intellectual/abstract theories of Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. Wilson passionately argues that buildings be designed from the inside out, resulting in specific solutions factoring in all elements. Architecture is a practical art whose virtue lies in the fulfillment of purpose, not an intellectual abstraction that produces "art for art's sake." He reserves particular vehemence for the International Style (and later Post Modernism) for their preconceived styles that have no relation to the content or use of the building. The arguments are well illustrated with projects primarily of Scharoun and Aalto, and buildings by Haring, Duiker, Corbusier, Ernst May, Wright, Mackintosh, Gropius, and an exceptional house by Eileen Gray. This book is valuable for expounding a viable alternative tradition within Modern Architecture. It would be stronger had Wilson been more impartial and less of a crusader. For example, some architects working on organic principles, e.g., Scharoun, have produced brilliant buildings that were ill-suited to their external environ-ment. Corbusier is often used as the antithesis, but without sufficient analysis about what gives this work its particular strength. However, Wilson, as crusader, deserves credit for re-igniting the passion of principle that underlay the Modern Movement, that is unfortunately lacking in architectural discourse today.
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The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture: The Uncompleted Project
The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture: The Uncompleted Project by Colin St John Wilson (Paperback - 22 Jan 2007)
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