Bleak houses

Bleak houses

: Disappointment and failure in architecture

by Timothy Brittain-Catlin
7th February, 2014

£23.50 £25.00 Save 6% | Hardback


Why some architects fail to realize their ideal buildings, and what architecture critics can learn from novelists.

The usual history of architecture is a grand narrative of soaring monuments and heroic makers. But it is also a false narrative in many ways, rarely acknowledging the personal failures and disappointments of architects. In Bleak Houses, Timothy Brittain-Catlin investigates the underside of architecture, the stories of losers and unfulfillment often ignored by an architectural criticism that values novelty, fame, and virility over fallibility and rejection.

As architectural criticism promotes increasingly narrow values, dismissing certain styles wholesale and subjecting buildings to a Victorian litmus test of real versus fake, Brittain-Catlin explains the effect this superficial criticality has had not only on architectural discourse but on the quality of buildings. The fact that most buildings receive no critical scrutiny at all has resulted in vast stretches of ugly modern housing and a pervasive public illiteracy about architecture.

Details & Specs

Series: The MIT Press

Author: Timothy Brittain-Catlin

Publisher: The MIT Press

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9780262026697

Publication Date: 7th February, 2014

Pages: 182

Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm

Notes: illustrations

Availability: Available, usually dispatched within 7 to 10 days

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