Freedom and the Cage: Modern Architecture and Psychiatry in Central Europe, 1890-1914 by Leslie ToppFreedom and the Cage: Modern Architecture and Psychiatry in Central Europe, 1890-1914 by Leslie Topp

Freedom and the Cage: Modern Architecture and Psychiatry in Central Europe, 1890-1914

byLeslie Topp

Hardcover | March 28, 2017

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Spurred by ideals of individual liberty that took hold in the Western world in the late nineteenth century, psychiatrists and public officials sought to reinvent asylums as large-scale, totally designed institutions that offered a level of freedom and normality impossible in the outside world. This volume explores the “caged freedom” that this new psychiatric ethos represented by analyzing seven such buildings established in the Austro-Hungarian monarchy between the late 1890s and World War I.

In the last two decades of the Habsburg Empire, architects of asylums began to abandon traditional corridor-based plans in favor of looser formations of connected villas, echoing through design the urban- and freedom-oriented impulse of the progressive architecture of the time. Leslie Topp considers the paradoxical position of designs that promoted an illusion of freedom even as they exercised careful social and spatial control over patients. In addition to discussing the physical and social aspects of these institutions, Topp shows how the commissioned buildings were symptomatic of larger cultural changes and of the modern asylum’s straining against its ideological anchorage in a premodern past of “unenlightened” restraint on human liberty.

Working at the intersection of the history of architecture and the history of psychiatry, Freedom and the Cage broadens our understanding of the complexity and fluidity of modern architecture’s engagement with the state, with social and medical projects, and with mental health, psychiatry, and psychology.

Leslie Topp is Senior Lecturer in the History of Architecture at Birkbeck, University of London, and the author of Architecture and Truth in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna.Leslie Topp is Senior Lecturer in the History of Architecture at Birkbeck, University of London, and the author of Architecture and Truth in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna.
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Title:Freedom and the Cage: Modern Architecture and Psychiatry in Central Europe, 1890-1914Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 10 × 9 × 0.96 inPublished:March 28, 2017Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271077107

ISBN - 13:9780271077109

Reviews

Table of Contents

Contents

List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1 The Free Institution

2 Regions, Nationalism, and the Asylum as a Political Project

3 “A White City Shimmering”: The Rhetorical Heightening of Control

4 Utopia in Process in Vienna’s Hinterland

5 Spaces

6 Boundaries

Conclusions and Proposals

Appendix: New Psychiatric Hospitals Built in the Habsburg Empire After 1898

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Leslie Topp has written an important and impeccably researched corrective to widespread assumptions about the relationship between space and power in the design of asylums and in architecture more generally. Her investigation of the villa-type asylum and its relationship to regional identity in the final years of the Habsburg empire deserves to be read by all those interested in turn-of-the-century modern architecture.”—Kathleen James-Chakraborty, author of Architecture since 1400