March 2018


«Architecton: proceedings of higher education» № 42 June 2013

Theory of architecture

Vlasov Victor G.

DSc (Art Studies), Professor, Chair of History of West European Art,
Saint-Petersburg State University,
Saint-Petersburg, Russia, e-mail: natlukina@list.ru


The theoretical concepts of architecture that emerged in the second half of the 20th century do not present something whole, being mainly self-reflexions of innovators in building practice or attempts to give some philosophical colouring to isolated quests. The article considers some ideas of the postmodernist architectural theorists and practitioners, comparing them with the well-know classical theories of composition and form generation. The author quotes R. Venturi, G. Deleuze, Ch. Jencks, K. Kurokawa, G. Lynn and proposes a critique of their principal ideas and concludes that such theories are basically secondary compilations. In fact, they present a return to the classical foundations of architecture but are eclectic and oversaturated by excessive definitions obtained from related scientific disciplines: linguistics, semiology, philosophical synergetics and structuralism.

Given the variety of design methods and manners and equalization of various sources and prototypes at the turn of the 20th century, the collapse of this style is obvious. Architecture does no longer follow the laws of continuity of forms. The compilation of sources typical of postmodernist aesthetics creates aesthetic neutrality of designs, which are as if taken out of the sphere of traditional evaluation categories of proportionality, scale, balance, integrity, tectonics, harmony, and beauty. This, in turn, generates social indifference.


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Key words: architectural theory, postmodern architecture, architectural composition, architectural styles, architectural shaping

Russian text of this article

ISSN 1990-4126  Registration MCM el. № ФС 77-70832 of 30.08.2017 © USUAA, 2004-2017  © Architecton, 2004-2017