Kenneth Frampton: Towards an Agonistic Architecture

Kenneth Frampton: Towards an Agonistic Architecture

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Of recent date, along with the global success of star architects, a parallel development may be observed in which relatively unfamiliar but equally talented architects from all over the world build modest works with exceptional sensitivity both to the topographic idiosyncrasies of the site and the vicissitudes of the climate, not to mention, on occasion, a subtle inflection capable of accommodating the vagaries of local custom.

Among recent works where such a nuanced response has come into being, one thinks of a number of architects who have distinguished themselves of late in exceptionally diverse cultures and climates, as these have cropped up in Guadalajara, Porto Alegra, Noumea, Yokohama, Addis Ababa, Colombo, Senegal, Guinea, Mumbai and the Northern Territory of Australia. To Frampton, this is a new found World Architecture deriving intimately from a regionally inflected sensibility.

Kenneth Frampton was born in 1930 and trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. He has worked as an architect and as an architectural historian and critic, and is now Ware Professor of Architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University, New York.

He has taught at a number of leading institutions in the field, including the Royal College of Art in London, the ETH in Zurich, the Berlage Institute in Amsterdam, EPFL in Lausanne and the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio.

Frampton is the author of Modern Architecture and the Critical Present (1980),Studies in Tectonic Culture (1995), American Masterworks (1995), Le Corbusier(2001), Labour, Work & Architecture (2005), and an updated fourth edition ofModern Architecture: A Critical History (2007).

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