Experiencing Architecture

Front Cover
MIT Press, 1964 - Architecture - 245 pages
2 Reviews

Widely regarded as a classic in the field, Experiencing Architecture explores the history and promise of good design. Generously illustrated with historical examples of designing excellence -- ranging from teacups, riding boots, and golf balls to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion of Beijing's Winter Palace -- Rasmussen's accessible guide invites us to appreciate architecture not only as a profession, but as an art that shapes everyday experience.

In the past, Rasmussen argues, architecture was not just an individual pursuit, but a community undertaking. Dwellings were built with a natural feeling for place, materials and use, resulting in "a remarkably suitable comeliness." While we cannot return to a former age, Rasmussen notes, we can still design spaces that are beautiful and useful by seeking to understand architecture as an art form that must be experienced. An understanding of good design comes not only from one's professional experience of architecture as an abstract, individual pursuit, but also from one's shared, everyday experience of architecture in real time -- its particular use of light, color, shape, scale, texture, rhythm and sound.

Experiencing Architecture reminds us of what good architectural design has accomplished over time, what it can accomplish still, and why it is worth pursuing. Wide-ranging and approachable, it is for anyone who has ever wondered "what instrument the architect plays on."

 

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Contents

Preface
5
Basic Observations
9
Solids and Cavities in Architecture
35
Contrasting Effects of Solids and Cavities
56
Architecture Experienced as Color Planes
83
Scale and Proportion
104
Rhythm in Architecture
127
Textural Effects
159
Daylight in Architecture
186
Color in Architecture
215
Hearing Architecture
224
Index
241
Copyright

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About the author (1964)

Steen Eiler Rasmussen was Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and Visiting Professor at MIT, Yale, Pennsylvania, and the University of California, Berkeley, and lectured widely at universities in Europe and the United States. He was author of London: The Unique City, called "the best book on London as a town," and other books.

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