Disclosing Horizons

Book description

This study examines the influence of perspective on architecture, highlighting how critical historical changes in the representation and perception of space continue to inform the way architects design.

Since its earliest developments, perspective was conceived as an exemplary form of representation that served as an ideal model of how everyday existence could be measured and ultimately judged. Temple argues that underlying the symbolic and epistemological meanings of perspective there prevails a deeply embedded redemptive view of the world that is deemed perfectible.

Temple explores this idea through a genealogical investigation of the cultural and philosophical contexts of perspective throughout history, highlighting how these developments influenced architectural thought. This broad historical enquiry is accompanied by a series of case-studies of modern or contemporary buildings, each demonstrating a particular affinity with the accompanying historical model of perspective.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Contents
  7. Illustration credits
  8. Acknowledgements
  9. Introduction
  10. 1. Order and chaos, or “What to leave out?”
    1. Taking measures
    2. Nietzsche’s perspectivism
    3. Being-in-the-world
    4. Alterity and infinity
    5. Visible and invisible
    6. What to leave out?
  11. 2. Number, geometry and dialectic
    1. The origin of geometry
    2. Pythagoras and the unutterable
    3. The Meno
    4. The Timaeus
    5. Ad triangulum versus ad quadratum
    6. Triangulating perspective
    7. The School of Athens
    8. Louis Kahn’s Yale Art Gallery
  12. 3. Light, memory and colour
    1. Medieval transformations
    2. From memory to recorded document
    3. Light metaphysics
    4. Optical science
    5. Grosseteste’s light
    6. The Bishop’s Eye
    7. Light and perspective
    8. Light and the colour of experience
    9. Steven Holl’s Chapel of St Ignatius
  13. 4. Topography, rhetoric and the vanishing point
    1. Horizontal and vertical worlds
    2. Convivial settings
    3. Alberti’s eye
    4. Nicholas Cusanus
    5. The Papal Window
    6. Álvaro Siza’s Galician Centre for Contemporary Art
  14. 5. Unity in multiplicity
    1. Baroque and universality
    2. Distentio animi and the dome
    3. Athanasius Kircher
    4. Leibniz and the monad
    5. J. B. Fischer von Erlach
    6. Hofbibliothek
    7. Peter Zumthor’s St Benedict’s Church
  15. 6. Nature and immensity
    1. Transgressing boundaries
    2. The picturesque and the sublime
    3. Chambers and oikoumene
    4. Boullée’s visionary perspectives
    5. Casper David Friedrich’s studio
    6. Rem Koolhaas’ EuraLille and “I’Espace Piranesien”
  16. 7. Disjointed views
    1. Attention and perspective
    2. Attention and distraction
    3. Illusion of a “mastering totalisation”
    4. Magnification and distortion
    5. Gustave Moreau’s house
    6. Eric Parry’s artists’ studios, London
  17. Conclusion: architecture that looks back at us
  18. Notes
  19. Index

Product information

  • Title: Disclosing Horizons
  • Author(s): Nicholas Temple
  • Release date: November 2006
  • Publisher(s): Routledge
  • ISBN: 9781134117079