This series showcases books authored or co-authored, and multi-author volumes edited or co-edited by faculty in the Department of Architecture. This series provides free, public access to the Introductions of these books and, where possible, the complete text of these books.
Daniel J. Naegele
Who were Le Corbusier’s photographers? The question is seldom asked yet is germane to understanding the architect’s work. Le Corbusier used photography to promote modern architecture in ways no others did. He directed the photography of his buildings, selected the images that he liked, cropped them, abstracted them, and placed them on the pages of his many books. He mediated the medium of photography manipulating visual facts in an era when “the camera never lied”. Yet always he began with images that others provided him. Photographers and advancing photo-technology were essential and when they changed, his imagery changed, and between 1922 and 1965 both changed often. Once a craft practiced by skilled technicians with large-format cameras and glass plate negatives, by the mid-1930s, architectural photography had become an art that could be executed by amateurs with hand-held cameras, faster films, and superb lenses. This altered the nature of the photograph and subsequently Le Corbusier’s understanding of his endeavor. For him, photography never simply documented a completed building, it created a new one. He saw through photography.
Daniel Joseph Naegele
Naegele’s Guide to the Only Good Architecture in Iowa is a deceptive title but it is not a misnomer. Guide is accurate. Iowa is fairly accurate. Naegele’s is there because this is a personal account, one that makes no attempt to be unbiased. Naegele’s qualifies Good, “good” being not absolute but contingent and personal and therefore a very questionable qualifier. Only is the title’s difficult word. “Only Good Architecture in Iowa” suggests that architecture is a scarce commodity in Iowa, a suggestion with which Naegele would agree if by “architecture” one means high architecture.
By Architecture, however, Naegele means “good building,” regardless of whether or not that which is built was designed by an architect or whether, in fact, it is a habitable structure or even a building at all. Most entries in this guide are concerned either with vernacular works that are habitable tools—barns, corncribs, ventilator machines, silos—or with built works that are not really buildings at all: billboards, bridges, murals, graveyards, landscapes, wind turbines and water towers. Only brings irony to the title, rendering questionable the assumption it asserts and initiating debate within an otherwise matter-of-fact description. Its inclusion in the title predicts the book’s mildly contentious, but always utterly practical, nature
Perceptions of the Body and Sacred Space in Late Antiquity and Byzantium seeks to reveal Christian understanding of the body and sacred space in the medieval Mediterranean. Case studies examine encounters with the holy through the perspective of the human body and sensory dimensions of sacred space, and discuss the dynamics of perception when experiencing what was constructed, represented, and understood as sacred. The comparative analysis investigates viewers’ recognitions of the sacred in specific locations or segments of space with an emphasis on the experiential and conceptual relationships between sacred spaces and human bodies. This volume thus reassesses the empowering aspects of space, time, and human agency in religious contexts. By focusing on investigations of human endeavors towards experiential and visual expressions that shape perceptions of holiness, this study ultimately aims to present a better understanding of the corporeality of sacred art and architecture. The research points to how early Christians and Byzantines teleologically viewed the divine source of the sacred in terms of its ability to bring together – but never fully dissolve – the distinctions between the human and divine realms. The revealed mechanisms of iconic perception and noetic contemplation have the potential to shape knowledge of the meanings of the sacred as well as to improve our understanding of the liminality of the profane and the sacred.
The Framing of Sacred Space offers the first topical study of canopies as essential spatial and symbolic units in Byzantine-rite churches. Centrally planned columnar structures--typically comprised of four columns and a roof--canopies had a critical role in the modular processes of church design, from actual church furnishings in the shape of a canopy to the church's structural core. As architectonic objects of basic structural and design integrity, canopies integrate an archetypical image of architecture and provide means for an innovative understanding of the materialization of the idea of the Byzantine church and its multi-focal spatial presence.
The Framing of Sacred Space considers both the material and conceptual framing of sacred space and explains how the canopy bridges the physical and transcendental realms. As a crucial element of church design in the Byzantine world, a world that gradually abandoned the basilica as a typical building of Roman imperial secular architecture, the canopy carried tectonic and theological meanings and, through vaulted, canopied bays and recognizable Byzantine domed churches, established organic architectural, symbolic, and sacred ties between the Old and New Covenants. In such an overarching context, the canopy becomes an architectural parti, a vital concept and dynamic design principle that carries the essence of the Byzantine church. The Framing of Sacred Space highlights significant factors in understanding canopies through specific architectural settings and the Byzantine concepts of space, thus also contributing to larger debates about the creation of sacred space and related architectural taxonomy.
Jessica Joyce Christie, Jelena Bogdanović, and Eulogio Guzmán
Political Landscapes of Capital Cities investigates the processes of transformation of the natural landscape into the culturally constructed and ideologically defined political environments of capital cities. In this spatially inclusive, socially dynamic interpretation, an interdisciplinary group of authors including archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians uses the methodology put forth in Adam T. Smith’s The Political Landscape: Constellations of Authority in Early Complex Polities to expose the intimate associations between human-made environments and the natural landscape that accommodate the sociopolitical needs of governmental authority.
Political Landscapes of Capital Cities blends the historical, political, and cultural narratives of capital cities such as Bangkok, Cusco, Rome, and Tehran with a careful visual analysis, hinging on the methodological tools of not only architectural and urban design but also cultural, historiographical, and anthropological studies. The collection provides further ways to conceive of how processes of urbanization, monumentalization, ritualization, naturalization, and unification affected capitals differently without losing grasp of local distinctive architectural and spatial features. The essays also articulate the many complex political and ideological agendas of a diverse set of sovereign entities that planned, constructed, displayed, and performed their societal ideals in the spaces of their capitals, ultimately confirming that political authority is profoundly spatial.
Contributors: Jelena Bogdanović, Jessica Joyce Christie, Talinn Grigor, Eulogio Guzmán, Gregor Kalas, Stephanie Pilat, Melody Rod-ari, Anne Parmly Toxey, Alexei Vranich
Chapter 3, Jelena Bogdanović's "The Relational Spiritual Geopolitics of Constantinople, the Capital of the Byzantine Empire," is available for download from the repository.
Daniel J. Naegele
Legendary architect, historian and critic, Colin Rowe taught Architecture and Urban Design at Liverpool University, the University of Texas at Austin, Cambridge University and for another 30 years at Cornell. From the late 1940s through to the early 1960s he wrote a uniquely perceptive series of articles on architecture that remains seminal to the discipline today. His books include The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays, The Architecture of Good Intentions, the volume As I Was Saying, and most notably, the 1978 Collage City, written with Fred Koetter. The recipient of the profession's highest honors, he was awarded the Topaz Medallion for Excellence in Architectural Education in 1985; and the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1995.
Rowe was an inveterate letter writer. From his student days at Liverpool in the early 1940s until his death in Washington in 1999, he wrote innumerable letters to his parents, renowned architects and scholars, friends, colleagues and former students on both sides of the Atlantic; and most consistently and intimately to his brother, David, and sister-in-law, Dorothy, in England. Informal and elegant ruminations, they illuminate moments in Rowe's migratory life, addressing a wide range of subjects from books, furniture, landscapes, politics, history and education, to architecture and the urban condition and a host of other engaging topics. Rich with wit and an astonishing array of scholarship, each is written in the incomparable style for which Rowe has long been famous, making evident his love affair with words and revealing a man of great humour, warmth and charm.
This selection of more than 250 of the surviving Rowe letters is edited and introduced by Daniel Naegele and Anthony Eardley.
The first two chapters are available in the repository.
Jelena Bogdanović, Lilien Filipovitch Robinson, and Igor Marjanović
On the Very Edge brings together fourteen empirical and comparative essays about the production, perception, and reception of modernity and modernism in the visual arts, architecture, and literature of interwar Serbia (1918–1941). The contributions highlight some idiosyncratic features of modernist processes in this complex period in Serbian arts and society, which emerged ‘on the very edge’ between territorial and cultural, new and old, modern and traditional identities.
With an open methodological framework this book reveals a vibrant and intertwined artistic scene, which, albeit prematurely, announced interests in pluralism and globalism. On the Very Edge addresses issues of artistic identities and cultural geographies and aims to enrich contextualized studies of modernism and its variants in the Balkans and Europe, while simultaneously re-mapping and adjusting the prevailing historical canon.
Included in the repository is Jelena Bogdanović's introduction, "On the Very Edge: Modernisms and Modernity of Interwar Serbia."
The Reconstruction of Haret Hriek: Design Options for Improving the Livability of the Neighborhood / إعادة إعمار حارة حريك
Mona Fawaz and Marwan Ghandour
The residential and commercial fabric of the southern suburbs of Beirut was severely damaged by the Israeli war on Lebanon in July and August of 2006. Most of the destruction in Beirut was concentrated within the municipal district of Haret Hreik where about 265 residential, commercial, and office buildings were razed to the ground or severely damaged. The municipality reported that 3,119 housing units and 1,610 commercial units (stores and offices) were completely demolished. In total , at least 20,000 residents of Haret Hreik lost their homes.