The Good Metropolis: From Urban Formlessness to Metropolitan Architecture

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Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Jan 28, 2019 - Architecture - 240 pages
Architecture has always been engaged in a dialogue with the city - a relationship often dominated by tension. The architectural avantgarde in particular is commonly understood in its opposition to the existing metropolitan terrain (architectural form vs. urban formlessness). This book, however, unearths strands of thought in the history of the 20th-century architecture that actively endorsed and productively engaged with the formless metropolis. Revisiting early experiments that question the city/architecture dichotomy, Eisenschmidt reveals how the formless metropolis has long been a prevalent force within architectural discourse. The works analyzed span almost an entire century: They range from August Endell's urban optics and Karl Scheffler's metropolitan architecture in Berlin, through Reyner Banham's motorized vision of Los Angeles and Situationist performances in Paris, to OMA's city architectures and Bernard Tschumi's cinematic urbanisms. The author constructs new narratives that reposition architecture vis--vis the city, by exposing hidden histories. He uncovers architecture's continuing interest in the formless city and elucidates our current fascination with and anxiety about ongoing urbanization, revealing the "good metropolis" that was there all along.

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About the author (2019)

Alexander Eisenschmidt, Associate Professor of Architecture at University of Illinois at Chicago

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