Hilde Heynen’s ambitious sounding book Architecture and Modernity might more precisely be titled, “An Examination of Key Ideas Surrounding Architecture and. Hilde Heynen Style-Architecture and Building-Art Transformations of Architecture in the Nineteenth Walter Benjamin and the Architecture of Modernity. Heynen, Hilde. Architecture and modernity: a critique / Hilde Heynen. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN (hc .
|Published (Last):||1 October 2014|
|PDF File Size:||9.74 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||5.47 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Drawing together major figures both from architectural writings and from a wider field of critical theory, Heynen examines the points at which the works touch hhilde a perplexing intellectual question: To this end, she compares and contrasts the intellectual merits and weaknesses of various discourses. Significant terms, such as dwelling and modernity, are tracked in their different conceptual relations to architecture, and architectural examples serve, more or less, to illustrate these relations.
Architecture and Modernity: A Critique by Hilde Heynen
As ad title suggests, however, the author has a much higher ambition than mosernity writing a critical commentary; she also intends to produce a new theoretical formulation. Heynen describes the structure of the argument in quasi-Hegelian terms as a “synthesis” overcoming the thesis of architectural modernism and the antithesis of critical theory. The aim of this synthesis is “a provisional formulation of a complex and multilayered understanding of that intricate relationship” between architecture and modernity 4.
The success of this second, theory-producing aspect of the book proves more doubtful.
As a critical commentary, Heynen’s book is exemplary for the breadth of its treatment of divergent texts and for the persistence with which it traces key issues. Significantly, the book brings together two strands of thought that have all too often been separated: On the other hand, Frankfurt School writers dealt only sporadically with the problem of architecture, and Heynen attempts to supplement these few texts with architectural examples and applications.
Architecture and Modernity: A Critique
Some of the authors examined by Heynen, namely Adolf Loos and Manfredo Tafuri, seem to straddle the divide between architectural insiders and critical theorists. By laying out these divergent writings on the theme of architecture and modernity, Heynen points out a number of contradictory impulses.
For example, the term modernity takes on a very different meaning and agency depending on whether it is “programmatic” or “transitory,” whether it describes a self-conscious project, as hllde the modern movement, or else a condition of continuous upheaval brought about through the social processes of modernization.
Clearly the relations between architecture and modernity depend quite heavily on the type of modernity being conceptualized. Another contradictory impulse tracked by Heynen is the place of “dwelling” in modernity.
The antimodern implications of this Heideggerian term are shown as only one possible interpretation. Roundly criticized are those architectural theorists, such as Christopher Alexander and Christian Norberg-Schulz, who reject modernity in favor of authentic dwelling, thus setting the two in simplified opposition.
Critics, such as Massimo Cacciari and Francesco Dal Co, who find ways to speak of dwelling-in-modernity as a condition of permanent homelessness, are given more weight here. As a critical commentary, Heynen’s book adeptly tracks some of the finer distinctions within a highly abstract set of terms, and it also serves as a good resource for those wishing to familiarize themselves with some of the more important architectural texts.
As a theory-producing text, however, the book is considerably more problematic.
Most of the book is given over to the explication and interpretation of other discourses, and much of the remainder examines avant-garde architectural projects according to the architects’ reactions to modernity.
The order and sequence of these discourses and projects is presumably meant to guide the reader towards an increasingly sophisticated understanding of architecture and modernity Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.
Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus.
Architecture and Modernity: A Critique – Hilde Heynen – Google Books
Contact Contact Us Help.