Bleak Houses: Disappointment And Failure In Architecture by Timothy J. Brittain-catlinBleak Houses: Disappointment And Failure In Architecture by Timothy J. Brittain-catlin

Bleak Houses: Disappointment And Failure In Architecture

byTimothy J. Brittain-catlin

Paperback | February 12, 2016

Pricing and Purchase Info

$29.95

Earn 150 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

HURRY, ONLY 2 LEFT!
Quantity:

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

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.

Timothy Brittain-Catlin is Senior Lecturer at the new Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent. His writing has appeared in The World of Interiors, Architectural Review, and many other publications.
Loading
Title:Bleak Houses: Disappointment And Failure In ArchitectureFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.44 inPublished:February 12, 2016Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262528851

ISBN - 13:9780262528856

Look for similar items by category:

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

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.Timothy Brittain-Catlin's Bleak Houses is unique for being the first history of architects who, by conventional standards, have been considered losers or failures. By telling the story of those who just fell outside the canon, or outside the circle of fame traced by a triumphalist history, Brittain-Catlin maps out an alternative architectural history without teleological narratives about style, change, and influence and thus offers a quieter and more modest way of looking at buildings that can relate much more closely to our own experiences. Witty and captivating, with an interesting touch of melancholy, it makes you think and see the world differently.-Martin Bressani, McGill University