Here Comes the Sun: Architecture and Public Space in Twentieth-Century European Culture

Overview

Here Comes the Sun looks at how social reformers, planners and architects in the early twentieth century tried to remake the city in the image of a sunlit, ordered utopia. While much has been written about architectural modernism, Worpole concentrates less on buildings and more on the planning of the spaces in-between – the parks, public squares, open-air museums, promenades, public pools and other public leisure facilities. Life in the open was of particular concern to early urban planners and reformers, with ...

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Overview

Here Comes the Sun looks at how social reformers, planners and architects in the early twentieth century tried to remake the city in the image of a sunlit, ordered utopia. While much has been written about architectural modernism, Worpole concentrates less on buildings and more on the planning of the spaces in-between – the parks, public squares, open-air museums, promenades, public pools and other public leisure facilities. Life in the open was of particular concern to early urban planners and reformers, with their dreams of release from the confines of overcrowded, unsanitary slums. Picturing youthful working-class bodies made healthy by exercise and tanned by the sun, they imagined an escape route from cities. Worpole demonstrates how open-air public spaces became sought-after commissions for many early modernist architects in the early 1900s, resulting in the transformation of the European cityscape.

"...a fascinating account of the political idealism that informed urban planning for the first two-thirds of the twentieth-century...full of insights into how public space influences a sense of belonging and ownership."—The Guardian

"This is one of those books you stroke lovingly. Open it, and there is page after page of beautiful photographs...this book combines history, society, politics, environment and place in a well-written and emotive text. The strength of the book is the way it crosses these traditional boundaries and disciplines."—Town and Country Planning

"Drawing on architectural theories, philosophy, literature and even film-making, Worpole's book is wide-ranging and erudite and should be of interest to the layperson as well as to the urban planner. It is also elegantly written and complemented by a mixture of black and white and colour photographs to provide a visual emphasis to the points he raises."—N16 Magazine

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Here Comes The Sun: Architecture And Public Space In Twentieth-Century European Culture focuses on developments in Northern Europe in terms of the planning of the "spaces between", the connective tissue of the modern city in the form of parks, public squares, open-air museums, promenades, lidos, and other public leisure facilities, including cemeteries. Educator, activist and author Ken Worpole demonstrates how open-air public spaces become sought-after commissions and projects for many early modernist architects. The reader is provided examples of utopian experiments such as Port Sunlight and Bournville, and discussions of the influence of Ruskin and William Morris. A very highly recommended contribution to urban planning studies history and reference collections, Here Comes The Sun shows how town planning became an internationalist, modernizing movement and an important, essential aspect of urban and cultural policy development and implementation today.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861890733
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 7.65 (w) x 9.87 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Worpole has written a number of pamphlets and books on urban and cultural policy, most recently Cemetery in the City (1997) and Richer Futures: Fashioning a New Politics (1998).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements The Body and the City: An Introductory Essay
1. Here Comes the Sun: Port Sunlight, Town Planning and the New Life
2. Our Northern Hearts: Architecture, Design and the Art of Right Living
3. Live Out of Doors as Much as You Can: The Architecture of Public Health
4. Bring the Landscape in to the House: Housing for the New Society
5. Parks, Pleasure Gardens and the Democracy of the Open Air
6. Summer in the City: The Cult of the Lido
7. Limits to Growth: Nature and Society Restored Coda: Beneath City Skies: New Parks in Europe References Index Photographic Acknowledgements

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