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Through its act of separation and being separated, architecture reveals at once the essence of the city and the essence of itself as political form: the city as the composition of separate parts.

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The work of these architects, Aureli argues, addressed the transformations of the modern city and its urban implications through the elaboration of specific and strategic architectural forms. Challenging the discursive boundaries and interpretive habits of countless late modern and contemporary architectural histories and theories, and with penetrating analysis directed at a compelling band of co-conspirators from Palladio to Ungers, who share with Aureli a deep suspicion of modern urbanization, this book is a forensic tour de force.

What at first glance appears to be a book of architectural history is in fact a radical attack on theory, sweeping away the foundations of current thought in its wake.


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Aureli's work stands against the forces of an unlimited urbanization, proposing an idea of absolute architecture as a confrontation with the forces of global capital. A must read for those passionate about architecture and its future.

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The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture Writing Architecture by Pier Vittorio Aureli

Overview Architectural form reconsidered in light of a unitary conception of architecture and the city. He is the author of The Project of Autonomy and other books. Politics is agonism through separation and confrontation; the very condition of architectural form is to separate and be separated. Through its act of separation and being separated, architecture reveals at once the essence of the city and the essence of itself as political form: the city as the composition of separate parts.

Aureli revisits the work of four architects whose projects were advanced through the making of architectural form but whose concern was the city at large: Andrea Palladio, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Etienne Louis-Boull'e, and Oswald Mathias Ungers.

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The work of these architects, Aureli argues, addressed the transformations of the modern city and its urban implications through the elaboration of specific and strategic architectural forms. Their projects for the city do not take the form of an overall plan but are expressed as an "archipelago" of site-specific interventions. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published February 11th by Mit Press first published February 1st More Details Other Editions 4.

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To ask other readers questions about The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. May 31, Sean Billy rated it really liked it. I am beginning to have more faith in architecture's ability to create change at the urban scale within the plots of individual buildings. Although I am still not convinced Etienne Boullee ever had a project for the metropolis, the other three chapters were very well argued for.

I mus I am beginning to have more faith in architecture's ability to create change at the urban scale within the plots of individual buildings. I must also admit that I like Aureli more than I probably should. Apr 10, Lisa Harmey rated it really liked it. Its difficult to read, not convinced about Boullee, loved the rest but no images for the final Ungers Berlin project? Still best thing I've come across for ages and ages. Sep 30, Irka rated it it was amazing.