The Architectural Project
7 x 9, 232 pp.
12 b&w photos., 58 line drawings., 4 tables.
Pub Date: 01/15/2003
Studies in Architecture and Culture
Price:        $40.00

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The Architectural Project

By Alfonso Corona-Martínez
Edited by Malcolm Quantrill
Foreword by Marco Frascari

An Essay Concerning the Project considers the practice of architectural design as it has developed during the last two centuries. In this challenging interpretation of design education and its effect on design process and products, Argentinean scholar Alfonso Corona-Martinez emphasizes the distinction between an architectural project, created in the architect’s mind and materialized as a set of drawings on paper, and the realized three-dimensional building.

Corona-Martinez demonstrates how representation plays a substantial role in determining both the notion and the character of architecture, and he traces this relationship from the Renaissance into the Modern era, giving detailed considerations of Functionalism and Typology. His argument clarifies the continuity in the practice of design method through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a continuity that has been obscured by the emphasis on changing goals instead of design procedures, and examines the influences of modernity and the legend of the Bauhaus.

Architectural schooling, he suggests, has had a decisive role in the transmission of these practices. He concludes that the methods formalized in Beaux Arts teaching are not only still with us but are in good part responsible for the stylistic instability that haunts Modern architecture.

Abstract but not abstruse, An Essay Concerning the Project provides clear information for a deeper understanding of the process of design and its results. More so than any other recent text, it shows the scope and richness of the field of speculation in architecture. It presents subtle considerations that must be mastered if an architect is to properly use typology, the means of representation, and the elements of composition and in architecture. Students, teachers, and practitioners alike will benefit from its warning about the deeper aspects of the endeavor of architecture.

Professor ALFONSO CORONA-MARTINEZ teaches architectural design and theory at Belgrano University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He also conducts postgraduate courses in Brazil, Chile, and the United States. The original Spanish-language edition of this study was first published in Argentina in 1990; this translation provides a completely revised version of the text.


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