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Is modern architecture no longer equipped to deal with the 'great themes' in architecture? By focusing on the tragic genre, this title asks some of the most far-reaching questions about the meaning of contemporary architecture. Has a modern delight in functionalism and repression of figuration put paid to the expression of human themes and narrative content? When put to the test, what has been the approach of contemporary architects who have been called upon to tackle the most abject horrors of our age such as the Holocaust?
By holding the classical form of the tragic up for scrutiny, the texts in this title explore the ways that architects have also been seeking to deal with the incomplete, the fragmented and partial, the historicisation of nature and the appearance of the popular culture. There are substantial essays on the theme by Robert Maxwell, John Outram, David Hamilton Eddy and Richard Patterson. Buildings are also analysed, which express some of the great human themes or tragedies in our time. These include, among others, Foster's Berlin Reichstag, Libeskind's Jewish Museum and Chipperfield's designs for the San Michele Cemetery in Venice.
Foster and Partners
James Ingo Freed
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