The House: Its Origins and Evolution
Product DescriptionStephen Gardiner offers an enlightened overview of the development of the house and home, from its beginnings in the caves of early man, through all the variety of structures that have since evolved, influenced by climate and material, but also by culture, custom and religious beliefs. A rich production of indigenous styles has emerged, from huts of mud and reeds, Ziggurats, Chinese underground villages with sunken courtyards, multi-storeyed tenements in Ancient Rome, Japanese designs that blend with nature, Indian towns laid out like a cross, the Palladian and Georgian Arts and Crafts and, coming into the modern period, the rediscovery of a more human scale, and the importance of the frame, in particular in the designs of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Gardiner succeeds in showing why people have historically built as they have, and how they think about the houses they design, explaining why, from being merely a shelter, the design of a house has come to express ideas about space, aesthetics, custom and culture. Now, after the later twentieth-century's violent swings from tower blocks to Post-modernism and Neo-traditionalism we face a new danger, the creeping sprawl of building that is swallowing up much of our beautiful countryside.
Gardiner shows how the collapse of traditional values since World War II has been mirrored by the new architectural emphasis on materialism, bringing a disregard for the lessons of the past, and a loss of contact, both with human requirements and with nature as a source of inspiration. But Gardiner also offers a strand of hope, a vein of architectural excellence that runs through the chaotic post-war picture and points the way ahead.
From the PublisherAn overview of the development of house and home, from its beginnings in the caves of early man through the variety of structures that have evolved, influenced by climate and materials but also by culture, custom, and religious beliefs. Mr. Gardiner succeeds in explaining why, from being merely a shelter, the house has come to express ideas about space, aesthetics, customs, and culture. Gardiner is most readable, unpretentiously scholarly, and he moves through time with confidence and sound architectural judgement. —Eric Lyons, Spectator
About the Author
Gardiner is an architect and writer.
Library JournalAs indicated by the verso's fine print, this work reprints Gardiner's Evolution of the House: An Introduction (1974; o.p.). The text appears to be identical, with the addition of two new chapters at the end on postwar urbanism, postmodernism, and the return to low-rise housing and an epilog that encourages harmonious residential developments based on 18th-century models and principles. Many of the same black-and-white illustrations, line drawings, and unevenly contrasted photos are recycled. Moreover, the bibliography hasn't been updated, the most current book listed having been published in 1971. The work is organized thematically and is generally a straightforward and basic survey, although enigmatic chapter headings such as "Solids," "Outlines," "Life Is One Animal," and "Jigsaw" are confusing. A useful historical and anthropological survey in its day, covering human shelter from prehistoric caves and Near Eastern mud brick houses to contemporary designs, this work has long been superseded by newer and more informative works, such as Norbert Schoenauer's 6,000 Years of Housing. Not recommended. Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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斯蒂芬·加得纳 是以为英国建筑师，也是一名建筑学批评家，著述颇丰，在《伦敦杂志》、《旁观者》、《观察家报》、以及《泰晤士报》、《建筑评论》等多加报刊上发表了文 章，主要专著有《人类的居所――房屋的起源和演变》、《勒·柯布西耶》、《爱泼斯坦――反体制的艺术家》等。
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