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The Difficult Whole: A Reference Book on the Work of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

In 1966, architect Robert Venturi published Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, a manifesto that became one of the twentieth century’s most important statements about architecture. Drawing on both vernacular and high-style sources, Venturi introduced new lessons from the buildings of architects who were well known, like Michelangelo and Alvar Aalto, and those whose work had then been forgotten, like Frank Furness and Edwin Lutyens. Arguing against the diagrammatic forms that dominated the field at that time, Venturi made a case instead for “the difficult whole.”

Fifty years later, this book offers a fresh analysis and thorough re-evaluation of Venturi’s landmark work and its legacy. Through a radical rereading of material from the archives of Venturi, Scott Brown, and Associates, the editors propose a credible alternative to contemporary architectural discourse, one that takes account of Venturi’s arguments and offers a way forward. Featuring essays, as well as close analyses of twenty-eight projects by Venturi, Rauch, and Scott Brown, The Difficult Whole is sure to spark discussion—and inspiration—throughout the worlds of architecture and design.

(Text via University of Chicago Press)


Price: $39