By David Leatherbarrow
While most books on architecture concentrate on spatial themes, this book explores architecture’s temporal dimensions. Through a series of close readings of buildings, both contemporary and classic, it demonstrates the centrality of time in modern architecture, and shows why an understanding of time is critical to understanding good architecture. All buildings exist in time. Even if designed for permanence, they change, slowly but inevitably. They change use, they accrue history and meaning, they decay – all of these processes are inscribed in time. So too is the path traced by the sun through a building, and the movements of the human body from room to room. Time, this book argues, is the framework for our spatial experience of architecture, and a key dimension of a building’s structure and significance. Building Time presents twelve close readings of buildings and artworks which explore this idea. Examining works by distinctive modern architects – from Eileen Gray to Álvaro Siza and Wang Shu – it takes the reader, in some cases literally step-by-step, through a built work, and provides insightful reflections on the importance of ‘making space for time’ in architectural design. This is a book for both theorists and for architectural designers. Through it, theorists will find a way to rethink the fundamental premises and aims of design work, while designers will rediscover the order and ideas that shape the world around them―its buildings, interiors, and landscapes.
London, 2020, 17.22 x 23.8cm, 288pp, illustrated, Paperback.