Aldo van Eyck: The Shape of Relativity

Aldo van Eyck, Francis Strauven
Aldo van Eyck: the Shape of Relativity is the first monograph on an architect whose poetic vision has exerted a far-reaching influence on architectural thinking since the Second World War. It is the story of an eventful career and an intensive study of an oeuvre. Far from limiting itself to architecture, this book deals primarily with the architect's ideas. It traces the roots of his thinking to early childhood, throwing light on his early passion for poetry, in turn related to the classical thinking of his father the poet P.N.van Eyck. It recounts his discovery of the twentieth-century avant-garde and of archaic cultures while in Zurich and Paris. It develops his role in Cobra movement and in 'de 8 en Opbouw', in international CIAM, and the dissident Team 10, and further in architectural education in Amsterdam and Delft. The book pays considerable attention to the concept of relativity, which Van Eyck regards as the foundation of the culture of the twentieth century. And, of course, the book includes a detailed examination of his projects and buildings, ranging from the children's playgrounds of Amsterdam and the Municipal Orphanage, from the introverted Sonsbeek Pavilion to the exuberant Auditor's Office in The Hague. The English edition of this indispensable study of the most eminent postwar architect of the Netherlands will be published on the 80th birthday of Aldo van Eyck. The book contains more than 600 illustrations, of which 100 are in colour, a bibliography of writings by Aldo van Eyck, a selected bibliography of literature about Aldo van Eyck and a list of designs and completed works. Francis Strauven is professor at the Academy of Art and Science in Brussels. From 1971 to 1992, he was editor of the magazines Wonen TABK and Archis, in which he wrote articles on Art Nouveau, Functionalism and contemporary developments. His publications include Bouwen in Belgiƫ (1945-1970), L.H. de Koninck (1980), L' Architecture en Belgique 1970-1980 (1981), Renaat Braem (1983), Aldo van Eyck's Orphanage, a modern monument (1987) and Jos Bascourt, art nouveau in Antwerp (1993).

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