The future of the past : a conservation ethic for architecture, urbanism, and historic preservation / Steven W. Semes.
New York [etc.] : W. W. Norton, 2009.
272 p. : il. bl. y n.
Arquitectura - Historia.
Arquitectura - Conservación y restauración.
Biblioteca A-72(091) FUT
A comprehensive and eloquent argument for “new traditional” architecture that preserves the style and character of historic buildings.
With contemporary design being redefined by architects and urbanists who are recovering the historic language associated with traditional architecture and the city, how might preservation change its focus or update its mission? Steven W. Semes makes a persuasive case that context matters and that new buildings and additions to old buildings should be harmonious with their neighbors.
Endorsements & Reviews
“I do not think I've ever come away from a book more impressed. Its erudition and its force in putting across a complex contrarian argument are incomparable. This book should be required reading for modern architects, who will start to whistle past the graveyard, and preservationists, who will see the error of their ways and, if they are honest, will admit it.... All I can say is read the review - or better yet, go out right now and get the book itself. It is my new bible.” — David Brussat, Architecture Here and There, The Providence Journal
“The Decade’s Most Important Book on Urban Architecture….With the publication of this volume, Steven Semes has vaulted into the first rank of contemporary architectural critics and preservation theorists….Semes provides sufficient intellectual gravitas for his opus to be a valuable textbook when teaching historic preservation and urbanism. But the book’s clarity and precision also make it a practical guide for urban planners, developers and designers tasked with creating additions or infill for historic areas. It also should be must reading for all preservationists and people serving on landmark commissions and design review boards.” — Clem Labine, Traditional Building
“[P]resents a persuasive case against the preservation ethic of oppositional styling; that is, the argument that new additions to historic buildings must be deliberately un-period so as not to be confused with the existing, ‘authentic’ section of the building. Semes illuminates the error of this way of thinking, and walks us through a history of architecture and preservation in the process.” — Planetizen.com
“[A] stirring and passionate call to get historic preservation right by respecting the past without making it sacrosanct.” — Civil Engineering
“Semes has written an indictment so complete and so damning, and yet expressed with such grace and diplomacy, that all thoughtful preservationists and even some modern architects will finally understand, if not admit, the error of their ways….so clear, so strong and so compelling that professionals in the field may be judges by how they react to it.” — David Brussat, The Providence Journal
“Full of well illustrated examples, drawings, and photographs of the results of both approaches, this volume is likely to take up important space in future discussions.” — Book News
The Decade's Most Important Book on Urban Architecture
Clem Labine | Traditional Building, 2010-02