Rob Krier. Architectural Composition
Axel Menges, Fellbach, 2010
out of print
Something of a maverick in architectural circles, Vienna-based architect Krier (Urban Space) finds most modern buildings ugly and banal, yet he looks to Le Corbusier for guiding principles on linking form to function. Rejecting “organic” architecture inspired by Antonio Gaudi, Krier upholds principles of symmetry and geometry; eclectically, he seeks out examples of good design as he moves from a Yugoslavian fishmarket to an ancient Hindu temple. This chunky primer attempts to formulate a set of ground rules for architects and builders, yet when Krier gets to a discussion of proportions, he throws up his hands, exclaiming, “There are no rules . . . only experience can help us”; he then follows up with minutely detailed analyses of proportions in the human face, seashells, Gothic cathedrals and da Vinci’s sketches of horses. Lively, very readable, combative, this delightful tome is generously illustrated with hundreds of photographs, sketches and lovingly shaded color drawings that illuminate key points.