Leon Krier: The Architectural Tuning of Settlements

IHMC Evening Lectures show

Summary: The term ‘tuning’ is well known in the world of musical instruments. Introduced in the realm of architecture and urbanism it describes a phenomenon, a set of relations, which is little spoken of, discussed, let alone mastered, i.e. firstly, the relationship and adequacy of architectural objects with the particular geometric nature of geographic networks, secondly, the dosage of vernacular and classical geometries and/or elements within a building, a group of buildings forming a larger ensemble or indeed an entire city, region, country, continent, civilization. It is the architectural and artistic parallel to Andres Duany’s Urban Transect identifying building- and settlement-patterns, ranging from the rural to the urban. Léon Krier is an architect, architectural theorist and urban planner. He is considered “Godfather” of New Urbanism and New Classical Architecture. Krier is committed to the importance of design in creating community. The ideal built environment, to Krier, is the small- scale town or traditional city where people work within walking distance of their homes. Léon Krier is recognized today as one of the world’s outstanding architects and urbanists. He received the inaugural Richard Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture in 2003. He is best known for his on going development of Poundbury, an urban extension to Dorchester, UK for the Duchy of Cornwall under the guidance of the Prince of Wales and for his Masterplan for Cayalá, an extension of Guatemala City. He is one of the first and most prominent critics of architectural modernism, mainly of its functional zoning and the ensuing suburbanism, campaigning for the reconstruction of the traditional European city model. These ideas had a great influence on the New Urbanism movement, both in the USA and Europe. The most complete compilation of them is published in his book “The Architecture of Community”. Some of Krier’s other books include “Architecture, Choice or Fate; Albert Speer: Architecture 1932-1942; “Imitation and Innovation” and “The Reconstruction of the European City”. Krier acts as architectural consultant on urban planning projects but only designs buildings of his personal choice. Amongst his best known realizations are the temporary façade at the 1980 Venice Biennale; the Krier house in the resort village of Seaside, Florida, USA (where he also advised on the master plan); the Arqueological Museum of Sintra, Portugal; the Windsor Village Hall Florida; the Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center on the campus of the University of Miami in Miami, Florida; and the new Neighbourhood Center Città Nuova in Alessandria, Italy. Currently Léon Krier is involved in the planning for the reconstruction of Tor Bella Monaca, a degraded suburb of Rome.