The Edifice Complex: How the Rich and Powerful--and Their Architects--Shape the World

The Edifice Complex How the Rich and Powerful and Their Architects Shape the World A provocative look at architecture exceptionally intelligent and original Jonathan Yardley The Washington Post Book World Deyan Sudjic probably the most influential figure in architecture you ve neve

  • Title: The Edifice Complex: How the Rich and Powerful--and Their Architects--Shape the World
  • Author: Deyan Sudjic
  • ISBN: 9780143038016
  • Page: 158
  • Format: Paperback
  • A provocative look at architecture exceptionally intelligent and original Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World Deyan Sudjic probably the most influential figure in architecture you ve never heard of argues that architecture, far from being auteur art, must be understood as a naked expression of power From the grandiose projects of Stalin and Hitler toA provocative look at architecture exceptionally intelligent and original Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World Deyan Sudjic probably the most influential figure in architecture you ve never heard of argues that architecture, far from being auteur art, must be understood as a naked expression of power From the grandiose projects of Stalin and Hitler to the theme park excess of today s presidential libraries, Sudjic goes behind the scenes of history s great manipulators of building propaganda and exposes Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, and other architects in a disturbing new light This controversial book is essential reading for all those interested in the power of architecture or the architecture of power A Washington Post Book World Best Book of the Year

    157 Comment

    • Paul says:

      This is part architectural history, and part gossip column. I'm about half way through it, and so far it has proven interesting. There's some very good information about architecture in Fascist regimes, and some juicy dish on the starchitects.

    • Lars Williams says:

      This is a well-written book on a fascinating subject. I came to it after reading Zola's 'The Kill', which is set against the backdrop of the Haussmannisation of Paris, Napoleon III's use of architecture as an expression (and possibly instrument) of political power. Tyrants like to build big. This book looks at the relationship between architecture and power, mostly 20th century, from Hitler's plans for Berlin, via Stalin's Russia, through to modern-day China. There is also an unexpectedly intere [...]

    • Todd Jenkins says:

      A fascinating look at the interconnections between political power and the use of architecture to reflect and enhance that power. Beginning with Saddam Hussein's Mother of All Battles Mosque and then reaching back to Albert Speer's work for the Nazi regime, Sudjic deftly analyzes the use of architecture to reflect the goals, personalities and attitudes of those in power. Normally I don't care whether books are illustrated, but this one would have benefited greatly from the inclusion of photograp [...]

    • Ugh says:

      This is not a flawless book. Given its subject matter, it was ironic that I could discern no coherent structure, in terms of an argument or even just an approach to dealing with the subject that began in one place and progressed through a discernable route to a climax. The book reads more like a collection of loosely connected magazine features, which perhaps shouldn't be a surprise given Sudjic's history as the Editor of architecture magazine Domus. But it just didn't matter. I found the topic [...]

    • Hadrian says:

      Extremely interesting premise - architecture as expression of and means of demonstrating power. Analyzes a wide range of colorful, megalomaniacal figures. I had to refer to google to find pictures of some of the relevant buildings, but aside from that, a very well-done book.

    • Liza P. says:

      Interesting, well researched book, however the author tends to make grand sweeping judgements about the intent of mentioned Architects and Nations, and this can be somewhat off-putting.

    • Rose says:

      I love this book. I don't often feel so strongly about non-fiction books, but this really fascinated me and was well written and put together. I got everything I wanted out of it and a lot more. It's expanded my interest in architecture, history and politics, as well as helping with my pursuit of philosophy, ethics & aesthetics. I recommend to anyone who has even the vaguest interest in any of those areas. Although it's very fact-driven, the style of writing has a quality that makes it easy [...]

    • Nikolas Kourtis says:

      Very informative and thought provoking about the nature of power and architecture. Why we build, how regimes and politics influence how, what, where, and when we build, at the end of the day what kind of influence architecture has if any in a person's, society's nation's ideas.(Sometimes too detailed in its descriptions though that can be a drag if not particularly knowledgeable when it comes to specific buildings or regimes)

    • Xvmichal says:

      Ciekawa gawęda na temat architektury i tego co ją kształtuje.

    • Auriza Salim says:

      Sungguh buku yang sangat menarik. Buku ini merubah pandangan saya terhadap urban desain. Urban desain dapat menjadi perangkat untuk memberi citra kepada pemerintah. Deyan Sudjic dengan apik menjelaskan studi kasus dengan disertai dengan latar belakang sejarah politik yang melatar belakangi pendirian sebuah kota. Sebuah rujukan yang berharga bagi urban designer untuk mengerti bagaimana kekuatan sesungguhnya dari urban desain dalam mempengaruhi perkembangan kota dan pikiran rakyat didalamnya.

    • Jenni says:

      Very very interesting in some parts, but also very very boring in others. You have to have a little architecture background knowledge to read this one, as names like Kahn, Philip Johnson, and others are thrown around, so if you don't know who they are it might be harder to understand. I like his thesis, but sometimes he goes into a little too much detail about the design of each building (and that's coming from someone who studied architecture in school).

    • Seán says:

      Love this book. Each chapter reads like a magazine article and features delightfully scathing insight into the lives and ambitions of architects through history. The fact that it doesn"t have pictures is really frustrating though, and i found myself having to look up pictures on google for every page.

    • Jessica Zu says:

      only read the assigned chapters. Not so crazy about it. it's about the balance between need to generalize and the imperative to pay attention to details. I'm not convinced that the evidence is enough to support the statement--edifice complex==architecture.i mean you can say the same thing about writing, fashion, or any other art form.

    • Iben says:

      This book is full of fascinating anecdotes, but is pretty much that. Sudjic becomes repetitive towards the end, and I forced myself to finish the book. That said, the topic itself is fascinating.

    • Laurie says:

      Loved it.Back stories are always the best.How people with money and power influence the buildings and images around them.

    • Dr. M. Zain Koraishy says:

      A very nice read. Very informative. Changed the way I've been looking at architecture and buildings my whole life. Its an all new dimension for me.

    • Hrmil says:

      Interesting people with money and power influence the buildings and city. I agree with Sir Norman Foster: As Compelling a read as popular novel

    • Gary says:

      The perfect book for a social studies nerd.

    • Liliana Amundaraín says:

      Excellent for naive architecture lovers! Easy to read.

    • Adele Lim says:

      Really well written and informative. I wish all history books were narrated like this. Will definitely re-read.

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