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The Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment 2nd Edition
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That said, this book provokes consideration of the development of conditioned environments in buildings--innovations either taken for granted, or swept to the side by conventional architectural historians (and consequently by architects, asserts Banham) Remaining decidedly British in his skepticism, the author favors neither the functionalists nor the aesthetes who would hide the sometimes messy mechanical systems in order to achieve purely sculptural aims--but Banham bestows praise upon those for whom the product achieves a hybrid goal of form and function, with neither favored. His examples, from the Royal Hospital in Belfast to the Rinasce department store in Rome would be lost to history (in my opinion) had they not been set to print in this book.Read more ›
He discovered that Wright's marvelous purportedly natural house got all sorts of technological help.
He discovered that the photos of the purportedly undecorated grain silos in Corbusier's Towards a New Architecture (Vers un architecture)were actually air-brushed to get rid of the ornament and support Corbu's philosophy/aesthetic sense.
He was dedicate to understanding and able to relate the motivations for new technologies to their evolution in a broader way than the narrower views of engineers who might focus on a single environmental control technology as though the environment (built or natural or both) could really be divided into such artificial and almost arbitrary compartments.
His acumen and wit were superb, unique, and are sorely missed as we face more urgent needs for understanding the built environment and its relationship to the larger one. He was a sort of early building ecologist.