Why Architecture Matters is not a work of architectural history or a guide to styles or an architectural dictionary, though it contains elements of all three. The purpose of Why Architecture Matters is to "come to grips with how things feel to us when we stand before them, with how architecture affects us emotionally as well as intellectually" — with its impact on our lives.
"Architecture begins to matter," writes Paul Goldberger, "when it brings delight and sadness and perplexity and awe along with a roof over our heads." He shows us how that works in examples ranging from a small Cape Cod cottage to the "vast, flowing" Prairie houses of Frank Lloyd Wright, from the Lincoln Memorial to the highly sculptural Guggenheim Bilbao and the Church of Sant'Ivo in Rome, where "simple geometries... create a work of architecture that embraces the deepest complexities of human imagination."
Based on decades of looking at buildings and thinking about how we experience them, the distinguished critic raises our awareness of fundamental things like proportion, scale, space, texture, materials, shapes, light, and memory. Upon completing this remarkable architectural journey, listeners will enjoy a wonderfully rewarding new way of seeing and experiencing every aspect of the built world.
The book is published by Yale University Press.
Interesting for both newbies and knowledgeable listeners
Enjoyable and interesting book. Perhaps a bit Yale centric but given Yale's place in American architecture this is justifiable.
The book presents an equal celebration of both new and old buildings. I enjoyed his takes on buildings like the Lincoln Memorial and the modernist sensibilities he finds in the designs. You are given the impression perhaps these are the roots of postmodernism.
Recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in Architecture.
Interesting and Inspiring
After working in the field of architecture for a year now, this audiobook served to remind me as to the importance of architectural theory. In the day to day work of architecture, I find myself concerned with square footage, time, and, cost. Design is muted by clients. This book helped me to remember my academic lessons and why I chose this profession. It also cites many other sources for further reading on the topic.