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Moderns and Masons

Peter Burke, 2 April 1981

The First Moderns: The Architects of the Eighteenth Century 
by Joseph Rykwert.
M.I.T., 585 pp., £27.50, September 1980, 0 262 18090 1
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... by both reason (mathematics) and revelation. Another of Wittkower’s students was Professor Joseph Rykwert. In a sense, his exciting new book, The First Moderns, does for the architecture of the 18th century what Wittkower did for the Renaissance. It starts where Wittkower left off, in the late 17th century. Architectural Principles in the Age of ...

Balls in Aquaria

Thomas Crow: Joseph Rykwert, 23 October 2008

The Judicious Eye: Architecture against the Other Arts 
by Joseph Rykwert.
Reaktion, 496 pp., £29.95, June 2008, 978 1 86189 358 1
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... Joseph Rykwert is unhappy about the current condition of architecture, the principal subject of his long career as a historian. In the conclusion to The Judicious Eye, he complains that ‘new imaging techniques made possible by information technology have allowed architects to shape their buildings without reference to the unavoidable orthogonalities of building or the routine repetition of windows, columns, beams and suchlike ...

Palpitating Stones

Roger Scruton, 3 April 1997

The Dancing Column: On Order in Architecture 
by Joseph Rykwert.
MIT, 598 pp., £49.95, May 1996, 0 262 18170 3
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... Subtitled ‘On Order in Architecture’, Joseph Rykwert’s exploration of the classical Orders, and their meaning for the many architects who have made use of them, has the shape, size and trimmings of a magnum opus. Footnotes and bibliography take up one third of its six hundred pages, and the text is burdened with photographs, plans and drawings illustrating each period of the classical style ...

Conservative Chic

Michael Mason, 6 May 1982

The Politics of Culture and Other Essays 
by Roger Scruton.
Carcanet, 245 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 85635 362 0
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... in English. Until recently it was possible to obtain a Tiranti reprint (sketchily annotated by Joseph Rykwert) of Leoni’s translation of 1726, itself no more than a rendering of the 16th-century Italian translation by Bartoli. Leoni’s version is elegant and learned; but it shows no system in its translation of Alberti’s philosophical terms, and ...

Jam Tomorrow

F.M.L. Thompson, 31 August 1989

Clichés of Urban Doom, and Other Essays 
by Ruth Glass.
Blackwell, 266 pp., £25, November 1988, 0 631 12806 9
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Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the 20th Century 
by Peter Hall.
Blackwell, 473 pp., £25, November 1988, 0 631 13444 1
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London 2001 
by Peter Hall.
Unwin Hyman, 226 pp., £17.95, January 1989, 9780044451617
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The Big Smoke: A History of Air Pollution in London since Medieval Times 
by Peter Brimblecombe.
Routledge, 185 pp., £12.95, March 1989, 0 415 03001 3
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New York Unbound: The City and the Politics of the Future 
edited by Peter Salins.
Blackwell, 223 pp., £35, December 1988, 1 55786 008 4
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The Idea of a Town: The Anthropology of Urban Forms in Rome, Italy and the Ancient World 
by Joseph Rykwert.
MIT, 241 pp., $15, September 1988, 0 262 68056 4
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... Time was when planning was the watchword of all radical, progressive or revolutionary opinion. Whether it was a matter of the wall-to-wall planning of the fully nationalised socialist economy, the liberal and pluralist arrangements of the welfare state with Keynesian economic management, or simply the protection and improvement of the environment, all schemes for making the world a better place to live in – or at least the advanced, industrialised world – assumed that this would happen when a body of professional experts were given the power and authority to devise and enforce appropriate blueprints ...

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