Tradition and Invention in Architecture: Conversations and Essays

Tradition and Invention in Architecture: Conversations and Essays

by Robert A. M. Stern, Cynthia C. Davidson
     
 

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Among practicing architects today, perhaps only Robert A. M. Stern once contemplated a career as a historian, an interest that has informed both his built work and his writings. Tradition and Invention in Architecture brings together 26 of Stern's essays and conversations from the past five decades. Topics range from modern classicism, American housing,

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Overview

Among practicing architects today, perhaps only Robert A. M. Stern once contemplated a career as a historian, an interest that has informed both his built work and his writings. Tradition and Invention in Architecture brings together 26 of Stern's essays and conversations from the past five decades. Topics range from modern classicism, American housing, gardens, and New York City to the work of Norman Foster, Louis Kahn, Charles Moore, and Robert Moses. Reminders of Stern's own broad career in architecture are found in his thoughts on his PBS television series Pride of Place, his discussion of the planning of Seaside and Celebration, Florida, and his view on institutional branding through architecture.

Known as much for his candor as for his profound knowledge of American architecture, Stern's observations on the architecture of his time are equally valuable. As he writes, "For an architect, writing is one way of reconsidering history while working in the present—always in search of the best from the past and the present, which allows us to invent for the future."

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A compilation of 26 essays and interviews written and conducted between 1963 and 2006 by architect and scholar Stern (dean, Yale Univ. Sch. of Architecture; New York 1930: Architecture and Urbanism Between the Two World Wars), this book is as much about Stern's aesthetic philosophy and career as it is a historic review of American architecture. Stern is famous for designing the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, and planning the town of Celebration, FL. Pieces address such topics as the American dream home, housing in the 1920s United States, building new structures in established developments, urban planning, town design, and architecture as brand identity. Five of the essays focus on specific architects and planners: George Howe, Robert Moses, Philip Johnson, Louis Kahn, and Charles Moore. They are conversational in tone and easy to read. The book is not lavishly illustrated, but the accompanying photographs (small black-and-white images) are, in most cases, adequate. VERDICT This collection of well-footnoted essays will be informative to scholars, students, and anyone interested in architecture.—Valerie Nye, Santa Fe Univ. of Art and Design, NM

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300181159
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Robert A. M. Stern, founder and senior partner of Robert A. M. Stern Architects, is dean of the Yale School of Architecture. Cynthia Davidson is editor of the journal Log: Observations on Architecture and the Contemporary City.

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