The most beautiful house in the world

Witold Rybczynski

Book - 1989

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Subjects
Published
New York : Viking c1989.
Language
English
Physical Description
211 p. : ill
Bibliography
Includes index.
ISBN
0670819816
Main Author
Witold Rybczynski (-)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Young architect decides to build boat, needs boat house to work in, ends up years later with country place and no boat, and meditates thereon. An extended reflection on the meaning of a house to its inhabitants, this personalized extension of the author's earlier Home ( LJ 9/1/86) does reveal some of what an architect does, albeit when the same person is architect, client, and builder, and it is simply written. More revealing, more detailed, more particular, and preferred is Tracy Kidder's House ( LJ 8/85).-- Jack Perry Brown, Ryerson & Burnham Lib., Art Inst. of Chicago Copyright 1989 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

As a young architect, Rybczynski felt trapped inside a paper world of blueprints and cardboard models and itched for the nitty-gritty experience of building with his own hands. He soon devised a plan of escape. It was modest enough--to design and build a boatshed--but it was the beginning of a creative journey that questioned the nature of architecture and the architect's role: What makes a cathedral but not, say, a boatshed architecture? When should an architect design iconoclastic solutions to old problems, when to apply traditional principles? As Rybczynski writes of how his concept of a shed evolved into a full-fledged house, he discusses his wide-ranging research, meditates on the varied sources of his inspiration and on the ``game'' of architecture. He also incorporates the kind of historical tidbit that keeps the reader turning pages--the ritualistic origins of the elements of classical architecture; the not-quite-tongue-in-cheek parallels between architecture and gastronomy; the distinguished structural descendants of the humble barn. Written with the easy-going charm that marked his Home: A Short History of an Idea , this delightful ramble through the creative process will beguile architecture buffs and general readers alike. Illustrated. (May) Copyright 1989 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Rybcznski here describes the act of designing and building a house, questioning the nature of architecture and the architect's role. ``This delightful ramble through the creative process will beguile architecture buffs and general readers alike,'' remarked PW. Illustrated. 75,000 first printing. (July) Copyright 1990 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Chronicles the work and insight that marked the author's experience as the boathouse he set out to build expanded to become a full-scale home, and contains a wealth of observations about construction, space, and beginnings