The Architecture of Community
Is there an art to building cities? Do modernist towns have the same beauty and aesthetics as traditional historic settlements? Does the extraordinary technical and scientific inventiveness of the industrial age have a parallel in its architecture and urban planning?
Leon Krier addresses these questions and more in his highly anticipated new book, The Architecture of Community that I co-edited. Despite America’s immense achievements in the areas of law, science and technology, modern urban planning in the United States has remained uninspired. Our public spaces languish in shocking contrast to the seductive comforts of our homes, and American development model has laid waste to the natural and man-made landscapes worldwide.
Krier is widely acknowledged as one of the most provocative architects and urban theoreticians of our time, but his unique perspective is not readily recognized or understood in the U.S. His latest written work, The Architecture of Community, Krier’s visionary planning philosophy, is now available for an American audience and offers a cure for the problems of modern urbanism and a practical, contemporary roadmap for the creation of livable towns.
Best known for his design for the highly influential town of Poundbury in England as well as the Krier House and Tower in Seaside, Florida, Krier has designed and consulted on projects all over the world. Commissioned by the Prince of Wales in 1988, Krier’s design for Poundbury in Dorset has become a reference model for ecological planning and building that can meet contemporary needs.
Today more than ever, with our cities becoming increasingly congested and natural resources rapidly depleting, it is necessary to find innovative, sustainable ways to build and rebuild our urban communities. In The Architecture of Community, Krier provides detailed drawings and images of his built work to illustrate his theories on traditional urbanism and architecture, while providing practical guidelines for creating attractive towns.
The Architecture of Community outlines a diagnosis and a cure, a critique and a project. Until now, Krier’s ideas have circulated mostly among a professional audience of architects, city planners and academics. The Architecture of Community is accessible to a wider public, encouraging and illustrating a common-sense approach to urban planning.
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James Howard Kunstler in the Afterword.
“This book is Mr. Krier’s gift to the coming generations who, otherwise, have been left saddled by us with little more than extravagant debts in every way you could imagine. They are going to have to inhabit what remains of this planet, along with whatever remains of its resources, when we are gone, and Mr. Krier’s heroic, often lonely labors, have produced this indispensable beacon of principle and methodology to light their way home.” — James Howard Kunstler from the book’s afterword
About Leon Krier
Born in 1946 in Luxembourg, Leon Krier is one of the most influential architects teaching and writing today. He has taught architecture and urbanism at the Architectural Association and the Royal College of Arts in London, and in the United States at Princeton University, Yale University, the University of Miami, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Virginia. He has worked extensively in Europe and North America and is currently consulting on projects in Guatemala, Romania, England, Belgium, Italy, France, and the United States. In 2003, he received the inaugural Richard Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture.
Island Press was established in 1984 to stimulate, shape, and communicate the ideas that are essential for solving environmental problems. Publishing approximately 40 books and other information tools a year, we use a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed approach that brings practical solutions to complex challenges like climate change, the depletion of our oceans, sustainable energy and agriculture, and species extinction. A nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, Island Press publishes for scientists, policy makers, environmental practitioners, students, journalists, and the general public. Island Press – Solutions that inspire change.