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Civil Art


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Resumen del Libro

The publication of Civil Art coincides with the start of building The Resident, and extensive development project located between Central Station and City Hall in The Hague. A compelling urban context designed for this area by the Viennese architect Rob Krier has been filled in by nine distinguished architects: Gunnar Daan, Bert Dirrix, Peter Drijver, Michael Graves, Karelse Van der Meer, Adolfo Natalini, Cesar Pelli, Sjoerd Soeters and CH & Partners. The project, which is set to produce a (for the Netherlands) unique cityscape, is lavishly and comprehensively illustrated in this book. In a polemical essay, Vincent van Rossem sketches the post-war history of architecture and urban planning. During and after the disintegration of the Modern Movement in the 1950s and 1960s, a number of books and essays dealing with the architecture-city relationship were published. Since then much of that formal theorizing has filtered through to day-to-day practice, resulting in a modification of the rigid principles of functionalist urban design. The author describes these developments and shows – taking The Resident as a concrete example – how criticism of the architecture and urban design fostered by the Modern Movement has led to a different approach to urban renewal. In addition to drawing in the historical context, the book also charts the genesis of The Resident. The project stands as an example of a singular planning philosophy and working method characterized by a remarkable cooperation between central government, municipal administration, project developer, urban designer and the nine architects. From 1993 onwards the author, Vincent van Rossem (architectural historian), followed this planningprocess as reporter and critic.


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