The Rude Building

From the Plus Ca Change Desk.

Have people read A. Trystan Edwards? Edwards (1884-1973) was a Welsh architect and town planner who studied at Liverpool, and articled under Sir Reginald Bloomfield. In 1924 he published an extraordinary book, Good and Bad Manners in Architecture that discusses many of the issues currently raised by the current New Urbanism movement. You can get an idea of the book from the frontis page: “This book asks the novel question, How do buildings behave towards one another? It contrasts the selfish building, the presumptuous building and the rude building with the POLITE and SOCIABLE building; and it invites the public to act as arbiter upon their conflicting claims.” The “rude building” is very good. There should be an annual prize for the Rude Building of the Year. Edwards also wrote Architectural Style, which is likewise worth reading. Both are out of print, so either a good library or AbeBooks.

Skirkanich Hall, University of Pennsylvania (Williams & Tsien, architects)

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