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On the Ruins of Babel – Architectural Metaphor in German Thought - Cornell Scholarship Online
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On the Ruins of Babel: Architectural Metaphor in German Thought

Daniel Purdy


The eighteenth century struggled to define architecture as either an art or a science—the image of the architect as a grand figure who synthesizes all other disciplines within a single master plan emerged from this discourse. The architect, as philosophers liked to think of him, was obligated by the design and construction process to mediate between the abstract and the actual. This book traces this notion back to its wellspring. It surveys the volatile state of architectural theory in the Enlightenment, brought on by the newly emerged scientific critiques of Renaissance cosmology, then shows ... More

Keywords: architecture, architectural theory, Enlightenment, Renaissance cosmology, German theory, monumental architecture, Romantic aesthetic, space, classical architecture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780801476761
Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801476761.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Daniel Purdy, author
Director of Graduate German Studies, Penn State University