“The Difficult Whole” A Reference Book on Robert Venturi, John Rauch and Denise Scott Brown

This edition, published by Park Books, features analysis of twenty-eight projects by Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown, re-evaluating Venturi’s idea of the “difficult whole” in the context of his work: a significant contribution to a contemporary architectural discourse.

 

"The Difficult Whole" © Park Books

“The Difficult Whole” © Park Books

 

In 1966, architect Robert Venturi published Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, a manifesto that became one of the twentieth century’s most important statements about architecture. Drawing on both vernacular and high-style sources, Venturi introduced new lessons from the buildings of architects who were well known, like Michelangelo and Alvar Aalto, and those whose work had then been forgotten, like Frank Furness and Edwin Lutyens. Arguing against the diagrammatic forms that dominated the field at that time, Venturi made a case instead for “the difficult whole.”


 

Book data

“The Difficult Whole”
Edited and with contributions by Kersten Geers, Jelena Pančevac, and Andrea Zanderigo.
With photographs by Bas Princen
Publisher: Park Books
In cooperation with FORM Laboratory for Architecture as Form, EPFL / ENAC

21 x 30 cm, hardback
216 pages, 112 color and 190 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-3906027845, English

 


Fifty years later, this book offers a fresh analysis and thorough reevaluation of Venturi’s landmark work and its legacy. Through a radical rereading of material from the archives of Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates, the editors propose a credible alternative to contemporary architectural discourse, one that takes account of Venturi’s arguments and offers a way forward. Featuring essays, as well as close analyses of twenty-eight projects by Venturi, Rauch and Scott BrownThe Difficult Whole is sure to spark discussion—and inspiration—throughout the worlds of architecture and design.

 

Fire Station no. 4, Columbus, IN, Model Photo by George Pohl, 1966 © The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania by the gift of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Fire Station no. 4, Columbus, IN, Model Photo by George Pohl, 1966 © The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania by the gift of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Dixwell Fire Station, Perspective by Alexandre Lebet, ENAC EPFL, 2015 © FORM

Dixwell Fire Station, Perspective by Alexandre Lebet, ENAC EPFL, 2015 © FORM

AUTHORS AND EDITORS

Kersten Geers, born 1975, is a founding partner of architectural firm Office Kersten Geers David Van Severen in Brussels. He is also an Associate Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where he is head of the Laboratory for Architecture as Form.

Jelena Pančevac, born 1984, is an architect graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at University of Belgrade. She has been working as a researcher and teaching assistant at EPFL’s Laboratory for Architecture as Form since 2013.

Andrea Zanderigo, born 1974, is an architect and a founding partner of architectural firm Baukuh based in Milano. He has been teaching at various universities and is currently teaching at EPFL’s Laboratory for Architecture as Form.

 
Vanna Venturi House, Construction Drawings, Sepia Set, May 24-27th, 1963 © The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania by the gift of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Vanna Venturi House, Construction Drawings, Sepia Set, May 24-27th, 1963 © The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania by the gift of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Hass Garage, Ambler, PA, Photo by Rollin La France, 1964 © The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania by the gift of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Hass Garage, Ambler, PA, Photo by Rollin La France, 1964 © The Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania by the gift of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Bas Princen, photographer. Lewis Tomas Laboratory, September 2015 © Bas Princen

Bas Princen, photographer. Lewis Tomas Laboratory, September 2015 © Bas Princen

 

THE DIFFICULT WHOLE

Office Ambience 1959 – 1989
Beach House
Guild House
North Penn Visiting Nurse Association Building
Vanna Venturi House
Meiss House
Haas Garage
Three Buildings for a Town in Ohio
Frug House
Varga-Brigio Medical Office Building
Fire Station Number 4
National College Football Hall of Fame
Lieb House
Dixwell Fire Station
Transportation Square Office Building
Hersey House
Wike House
Humanities Building
Social Sciences Building
Trubek and Wislocki Houses
Brant House
Best Products
BASCO
ISI Headquarters
Gordon Wu Hall
Khulafa Street Building
Lewis Thomas Laboratory
Clinical Research Building
Sainsbury Wing

Nineteen Observations on Venturi’s Architecture
From the Difficult Order Toward the Difficult Whole

 

"The Difficult Whole" © Park Books

“The Difficult Whole” © Park Books

"The Difficult Whole" © Park Books

“The Difficult Whole” © Park Books

"The Difficult Whole" © Park Books

“The Difficult Whole” © Park Books

"The Difficult Whole" © Park Books

“The Difficult Whole” © Park Books

"The Difficult Whole" © Park Books

“The Difficult Whole” © Park Books


 

News source: Park Books
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