In this lecture, Leon Krier expounds upon his decades-long critique of modernist urbanism and design. Using his experiences planning and building the town of Poundbury, England as a lens for viewing contemporary planning practice, he compares modernist and classicist theory in their approaches to zoning and building construction.
In today’s world, Krier sees the interrelated phenomena of vertical sprawl (skyscrapers) and horizontal sprawl (landscrapers and suburbs) as negative developments in planning practice that stand at odds with successful classical examples of mixed-use, compact, and height-restricted development. Moreover, modernist methods of constructing cities are not viable in a world without fossil fuels, and our limited supply of natural resources necessitates that architects explore models of classical and traditional design that are better suited for the world of tomorrow. While modernism is not an inherently flawed approach to design, and indeed there are many examples of good modern architecture, it has too often bred careless “bad” design with enormous downsides for the character and quality of urban life.
Don’t miss the other lectures in The Berlage Archive series:
- The Berlage Archive: Jacques Herzog (1998)
- The Berlage Archive: Elizabeth Diller (1998)
- The Berlage Archive: David Chipperfield (2001)
- The Berlage Archive: Luis Fernandez Galiano Theory Master Class (1994)
- The Berlage Archive: Rem Koolhaas + Kenneth Frampton (1998)
- The Berlage Archive: Stefano Boeri (2001)
- The Berlage Archive: Elia Zenghelis (2001)
- The Berlage Archive: Thom Mayne (1996)
- The Berlage Archive: Julius Shulman (2000)
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