More than a decade in the making, this is a textbook of architecture rich with design techniques and useful for every architect whether a first-year students or experienced practicing architects. The book teaches the reader how to design by adapting to human needs and sensibilities, yet independently of any particular style. It explains much of what people instinctively know about architecture, and puts that knowledge for the first time in a concise, understandable form. There has not been such a book treating the very essence of architecture.
Preface by the Prince of Wales
What They're Saying...
"A Theory of Architecture demonstrates how mathematics and the social sciences offer keys to designing a humane architecture. In this brilliant tome Salingaros explains why many modern buildings are neither beautiful nor harmonious and, alternatively, how architects and patrons can employ scale, materials and mathematical logic to design structures which are exciting, nourishing, and visually delightful. Anyone who is interested in how architecture and culture are intimately linked should put this on their reading list.”
— Duncan G. Stroik, Professor of Architecture, University of Notre Dame
"Salingaros focuses on the question of why, even in societies that often embrace the silly and the stupid, the public still mostly prefers traditional architechture."
— David Brussat, The Providence Journal
"Architecture, Salingaros argues, is governed by universal and intuitively understood principles, which have been exemplified by all successful styles and in all civilizations that have left a record of themselves in their buildings. The solution is not to return to the classical styles…the solution is to return to first principles and build within their constraints…"
— Roger Scruton, The New Criterion
"A Theory of Architecture confronts difficult issues head on. Salingaros explores ways to clarify and formalize our understanding of aesthetic forms in the built environment, using mathematics, thermodynamics, Darwinism, complexity theory and cognitive sciences. He postulates that cross-cultural universals derived from scaling rules in nature govern human appreciation of architecture. . . . Salingaros’ remarkable observations suggest that concepts of complexity and scale can someday provide a full-bodied explanation for both the practice and the appreciation of architecture."
— Kim Sorvig, Architecture & Planning, University of New Mexico
“This recently-published text has already been adopted for courses in architecture schools. A fundamental text, among the most significant of the past several years."
— Vilma Torselli, Architect Artist and Critic
"A Theory of Architecture is not a cook book. It does not tell architects how to compose a building in several easy steps. Rather, it gives architects permission to do what we would automatically do if we had not been taught the style rules and the worldview of the ‘Modern Movement’ and its successors… What a breakthrough! What a book!"
— Jaap Dawson, Architect and Assistant Professor, University of Delft
"In the future this work, along with Christopher Alexander’s, will be standard texts for Architecture 101. This book has been handled with great care to help its readers understand the complex issues while at the same time making it accessible to the largest potential audience. It clearly articulates how we have arrived at a modern world tendency away from living structure and toward non-living structure. I feel fortunate to live in a time that I believe will be the beginning of a great sea change toward living structure and a more wholesome environment. I thank Dr. Salingaros for his efforts toward that movement"
— Dean A. Dykstra, architect and planner, Iowa City
"A New Vitruvius for 21st-Century Architecture and Urbanism? The work of Nikos A. Salingaros marks a true beginning for seriously regaining what cultures and societies have lost throughout the years through the work of many architects, urbanists, and decision makers. Nikos Salingaros’ work is emerging to offer new theories that if adopted, adapted, and practiced, will shape a better environment for the future. Undoubtedly, Vitruvius gave us the ABC of architecture, but someone should have continued the alphabet of architectural theories. It is my conviction that Nikos Salingaros offers a new alphabet that corresponds to the demands placed upon the profession by contemporary societies. His work meets the requirements of architecture and urbanism in the 21st century. This is a marvelous piece and it should be a required reading in theory courses introduced in both undergraduate and graduate programs of architecture worldwide."
— Ashraf Salama, Ph.D., Professor of Architecture