• I read this book 10 years ago for a required reading of Homa Farjadi’s studio. Homa informed us of Robin Evans’s unexpected death in 1993, at the age of 48. This book was published posthumously. Rather than a survey book of the use of geometry in architecture, Evan’s book offers a series of critical essays on some episodes between the fifteenth and the twentieth centuries, where geometry and design have intersected: the Renaissance central church, musical proportion, the perspective of Piero della Francesca, stereometry in Philibert Delorme, fragmented (some use the term deconstructive) architecture in the twentieth century, Ronchamp, and the Modulor. It has been laid upon strong claims such as: “architects do not produce geometry, they consume it.” (xxvi) The most dazzling and yet difficult chapter of this book is on French stereotomy, especially on Philibert Delorme and his execution of “trait” of the little cylindrical room at Anet. The chapter that is, in particular, helpful to me is what was called “Persistent Breakage.” It is about the twentieth-century tendency toward “broken forms,” or “fractured totality.” Evans suggested that Giedion’s link between cubism and Bauhaus architecture is superficial as much as the bigger question of how architecture might be, or seem to be, cubist. Especially, Evans concluded this chapter with an analysis of Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonie (1956-63). The means of representation and construction are among the topics that I want to investigate about this building, too.
Posted by:Liyang DING

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