Analysis Of The Book ' From Bauhaus On House ' By Tom Wolfe Essay

Analysis Of The Book ' From Bauhaus On House ' By Tom Wolfe Essay

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In his opinionated book, From Bauhaus to Our House, Tom Wolfe describes his views on the way architecture has framed our modern world. He frames his book long essay with an excerpt from America the Beautiful, "O Beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, has there ever been another place on earth where so many people of wealth and power have paid for and put up with so much architecture they detested as within thy blessed borders today? . . . Every child goes to school in a building that looks like a duplicating-machine replacement-parts wholesale distribution warehouse . . . Every new $900,000 summer house in the north woods of Michigan or on the shore of Long Island has so many pipe railings, ramps, hob-tread metal spiral stairways, sheets of industrial plate glass, banks of tungsten-halogen lamps, and white cylindrical shapes, it looks like an insecticide refinery." (Wolfe 1) This quote, in short, is the premise of his critique. He does not like the way modern architecture has developed, especially within the United States.
In his book, Wolfe spends most of his time critiquing two architectural styles, modern architecture and international style. His basic theory, as pointed out through the first quote mentioned in this essay, is that no one appreciated or liked the buildings that were being created at that time; which is true. Many of the creators liked the way their architecture looked more than the actual people that would inhabit it. To Wolfe that is a problem. He also suggests that unlike those who started schools of thought or compounds Americans would put up buildings even if they did not particularly cared for them. Even if they had to compromise on their artistic wishes, it was all about the client who i...


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...eive the destructions that other countries received. His statement is true, but that does not mean that American buildings were lacking in architectural design and beauty.
This book has been critiqued by architects and spectators alike. Many argue that Wolfe is speaking on a topic he knows nothing about. Which, in some ways is true; Wolfe is a journalist. On the other hand, those in support of Wolfe’s theory agree that the modern architecture is mundane. Wolfe provides an accurate picture of the development of modern architecture in America. It is easy to see why many people love and agree with Wolfe’s writing. He makes it easy to digest even if you have no prior knowledge of architecture and its developments. Even with its flaws, the author provides a sound argument that makes readers think about their own personal views on the development of modern architecture.

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