Meaning in Western Architecture Author:Christian Norberg-Schulz In this brilliant survey, Professor Norberg-Schulz advances a radically new way of looking at Western architecture. Taking as a premise man's use of architecture as a symbolic means to bring order and significance into the relations between himself and his environment, he reviews all the major epochs of Western art, from ancient Egypt to the... more » present day, carefully examining major building achievements in the present day, carefully examining major buildings achievements in the contact of the settlements and towns into which they were integrated. It becomes apparent that style and organization are not mere historical accidents: The architecture of different cultural periods is shown to be, in each case, the physical expression of prevailing religious and philosophic beliefs. As such, buildings that occupied key situations in the community -- temples, churches, palaces, and places of public assembly -- provided through their structure the spiritual security essential for man to feel integrated into his world. The private house, as well, has reflected man's current conception of his place in time and space. Against this background, Meaning in Western Architecture contributes valuable insights into the crisis facing present-day architecture, where dissolution of such beliefs is manifest in the disunity of building styles.
Far more stimulating than the ordinary survey and richly illustrated with 556 photographs, maps, and plans, Meaning in Western Architecture offers a splendid introduction to the principal developments in building and city planning in the West. It also makes a unique contribution both to the history of art and to app;idd existential thinking.« less