Witold Rybczynski

discusses

How Architecture Works:
A Humanist's Toolkit

This event includes a book signing

Date

Dec
9
Monday
December 9, 2013
8:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome Vincent Scully Prize winner WITOLD RYBCYNSKI for a discussion of his book, How Architecture Works: A Humanist's Toolkit.

An essential toolkit for understanding architecture as both art form and the setting for our everyday lives

We spend most of our days and nights in buildings, living and working and sometimes playing. Buildings often overawe us with their beauty. Architecture is both setting for our everyday lives and public art form—but it remains mysterious to most of us.

In How Architecture Works, Witold Rybczynski, one of our best, most stylish critics and winner of the Vincent Scully Prize for his architectural writing, answers our most fundamental questions about how good—and not-so-good—buildings are designed and constructed. Introducing the reader to the rich and varied world of modern architecture, he takes us behind the scenes, revealing how architects as different as Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, and Robert A. M. Stern envision and create their designs. He teaches us how to “read” plans, how buildings respond to their settings, and how the smallest detail—of a stair balustrade, for instance—can convey an architect’s vision. Ranging widely from a war memorial in London to an opera house in St. Petersburg, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., to a famous architect’s private retreat in downtown Princeton, How Architecture Works, explains the central elements that make up good building design. It is an enlightening humanist’s toolkit for thinking about the built environment and seeing it afresh.

“Architecture, if it is any good, speaks to all of us,” Rybczynski writes. This revelatory book is his grand tour of architecture today.

“A commanding view of the field . . . Here, architecture is treated as craft executed with prudence and conviction.” —Publishers' Weekly

Witold Rybczynski
Witold Rybczynski

Witold Rybczynski

Witold Rybczynski has written about architecture and urbanism for The New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed book Home and the award-winning A Clearing in the Distance. His latest book is The Biography of a Building. The recipient of the National Building Museum's 2007 Vincent Scully Prize, he lives with his wife in Philadelphia, where he is emeritus professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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