Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture

By Robert Venturi,

Book cover of Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture

Book description

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I was introduced to this at the end of my first year as an architecture student and it introduced me to looking at history through a designer’s eyes.

The original and best edition was in a small format, packed with postage-stamp-sized illustrations. Venturi’s target was the reductive, less-is-more strand of Modern architecture. ‘Less is a bore’, Venturi declared, and he opened my eyes to Mannerism and the Baroque and offered new insights into modern masters such as Aalto and Le Corbusier. 

Complexity and Contradiction made me believe that there is a way forward for architecture.

I got my copy as a gift from a girlfriend on the day I began my studies in architecture, and it has followed me ever since. The girlfriend did not. 

Robert Venturi’s manifesto is more relevant today than ever. The title is a marvel of concentrated wisdom and the content is a sparkling argumentation for an inclusive, rich, humane, and sensitive architecture. 

From Rasmus' list on what architecture is about.

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