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Robert Venturi's Rome (ORO) Paperback – September 1, 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"By design or otherwise, the publication of Robert Venturi's Rome feels timely and in keeping with a broader revivalist spirit currently underway. " - Brian Newman, architect and university campus planner

"Astute dialog and illustration fills Robert Venturi's Rome and makes it a rare pleasure. I can't wait to visit Rome, book in hand, and retrace the discoveries of these three architects for myself." - Traditional Building

From the Author

Like all arts, architecture has linguistic properties. Within each language (Classicism, Modernism, Post Modernism, etc.) there are words and syntax understood by a community. In architecture, the words are elements such as walls, windows, roofs. And architectural syntax is the way in which elements are assembled. Venturi was acutely interested in the linguistic dimension of architecture and his fondness for the Baroque and Mannerist periods may have stemmed from the rich application of linguistic irony. He applied linguistic analysis to work that wasn't associated with this approach and may not have been conceived with this dimension in mind. In particular, he exposed the supposed rationality of Modernism as having the same kind of rhetorical intentions as the Classical language disdained by Modernists as superficial. He embraced this rhetorical approach in his own practice, to the consternation of much of the profession at the time.

Exploring Venturi's interpretation of the language of architecture and subsequently re-interpreting it with Stephen has been a highlight of my architectural career and passion. I hope you enjoy exploring the beauty of architecture through our interpretation of Venturi's Rome as much as I did.

Product details

  • Publisher : ORO Editions (September 1, 2017)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 112 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1939621879
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1939621870
  • Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions : 5.51 x 0.2 x 9.06 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 8 ratings

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Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love architecture? Love Rome? This is a book for you...
By TripFiction on December 12, 2017
“This guide is intended for all travellers to Rome, whether of the armchair or shoe leather variety, and whether the traveler is novitiate or veteran”

Robert Venturi wrote Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture in 1962, at the age of 37 when he was spending two years at the American Academy in the city, gleaning all he could about the city of such rich and diverse architectural styles, both complex and contradictory. Both authors studied his seminal work when they were students. In the original, Venturi illustrated his book with black and white photos, but in this volume by Fisher and Harby there are beautiful watercolours that bring magic to the pages, a deft and light hand.

When Venturi was in the city, the buildings were largely covered in grime and soot and his photos capture that two dimensionality. Now, when many buildings have undergone cleaning and renovation, a lighter medium is ideal to capture the light and the innate dancing of light that is present in the city. Watercolour is ideal to bring to life the light and shade, that chiaroscuro. Thus, Stephen Harby shares his watercolours as they describe selected buildings around the city, some well-known like the Pantheon, the Vatican.. to Luigi Moretti’s more stark and linear post World War II apartment building, Casa Girasoli, in Parioli, which I would now choose to visit when I am next in Rome. Porta Pia by Michelangelo would also be on my list.

This is such a diverse and wonderful selection of buildings dotted around the city, all beautifully brought to life. If I had one niggle it would be the format of presentation – a book slightly larger than A5 size and in order to access some of the double page illustrations, you would have to crack the spine (sacrilege in our house!). But wonderful to be able to slip it into your bag as you tour the city.
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