2013年3月17日 星期日

幸福建築 (Alain de Botton) The Architecture of Happiness

Alain de Botton 幸福建築及其他

紐約時報:Published: January 24, 2013:訪作家談書:Alain de Botton: By the Book

Are there any architects that you think are also particularly good writers? What are your favorite books on architecture?
Le Corbusier is an outstanding writer. His ideas achieved their impact in large measure because he could write so convincingly. His style is utterly clear, brusque, funny and polemical in the best way. His books are beautifully laid out with captions and images. I recommend “Towards a New Architecture.” It’s a deep pity that while Le Corbusier’s style has been much copied by architects, very few have drawn the right lessons from him about literature and prose style. 
 既然Alain de Botton選Le Corbusier 
我們應該知道他在 幸福建築 一書中是如何介紹Le Corbusier的著名的Savoy 公寓的

 幸福建築 台北:先覺2007/2013.1 第7刷
艾倫.狄波頓(Alain de Botton)
   狄波頓才氣橫溢,文章智趣兼備,使他不僅風靡英倫,外國出版社也爭相出版他的作品,目前已有二十多國語言的譯本。書評人康納立(Cressida Connolly)讚嘆狄波頓是「英國文壇的奇葩」;另一位書評人葛雷茲布魯克(Philip Glazebrook)認為:「這種奇才作家,恐怕連掃帚的傳記都寫得出來,而且這柄掃帚在他筆下絕對是活靈活現的。」


  • 叢書系列:人文思潮
  • 規格:平裝 / 320頁 / 25k / 普級 / 單色印刷 / 初版
  • 出版地:台灣



The Architecture of Happiness
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One of the great, but often unmentioned, causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kind of walls, chairs, buildings and streets we’re surrounded by.

And yet a concern for architecture and design is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. The Architecture of Happiness starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be - and argues that it is architecture’s task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, the book has at its centre the large and naïve question: ‘What is a beautiful building?’ It amounts to a tour through the philosophy and psychology of architecture, which aims to change the way we think about our homes, streets and ourselves.
The Architecture of Happiness
- Flying over London with Norman Foster >
- Islamic Architecture >
- Architecture in Japan >
- Introduction >
- Coherence >
Status Anxiety
The Art of Travel
The Consolations of Philosophy
How Proust Can Change Your Life


A concern for architecture has never been free from a degree of suspicion. Doubts have been raised about the subject’s seriousness, its moral worth and its cost. A thought-provoking number of the world’s most intelligent people have disdained any interest in decoration and design, equating contentment with discarnate and invisible matters instead.

The Ancient Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus is said to have demanded of a heart-broken friend whose house had burnt to the ground, ‘If you really understand what governs the universe, how can you yearn for bits of stone and pretty rock?’ (It is unclear how much longer the friendship lasted.) Legend recounts that after hearing the voice of God, the Christian hermit Alexandra sold her house, shut herself in a tomb and never looked at the outside world again, while her fellow hermit Paul of Scete slept on a blanket on the floor of a windowless mud hut and recited three hundred prayers every day, suffering only when he heard of another holy man who had managed seven hundred and slept in a coffin.

Such austerity has been a historical constant. In the spring of 1137, the Cistercian monk St Bernard of Clairvaux travelled all the way around the Lake of Geneva without noticing it was even there. Likewise, after four years in his monastery, St Bernard could not report whether the dining area had a vaulted ceiling (it does), or how many windows there were in the sanctuary of his church (three). On a visit to the Charterhouse of Dauphiné, St Bernard astonished his hosts by arriving on a magnificent white horse diametrically opposed to the ascetic values he professed, but he explained that he had borrowed the animal from a wealthy uncle and had simply failed to register its appearance on a four-day journey across France.

Nevertheless, such determined efforts to scorn visual experience have always been matched by equally persistent attempts to mould the material world to graceful ends. People have strained their backs carving flowers into their roof beams and their eyesight embroidering animals onto their tablecloths. They have given up weekends to hide unsightly cables behind ledges. They have thought carefully about appropriate kitchen worksurfaces. They have imagined living in unattainably expensive houses pictured in magazines and then felt sad, as one does on passing an attractive stranger in a crowded street.
We seem divided between an urge to override our senses and numb ourselves to our settings and a contradictory impulse to acknowledge the extent to which our identities are indelibly connected to, and will shift along with, our locations. An ugly room can coagulate any loose suspicions as to the incompleteness of life, while a sun-lit one set with honey-coloured limestone tiles can lend support to whatever is most hopeful within us.
Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are, for better and for worse, different people in different places – and on the conviction that it is architecture’s task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be.
However, architecture is perplexing in how inconsistent is its capacity to generate the happiness on which its claim to our attention is founded. While an attractive building may on occasion flatter an ascending mood, there will be times when the most congenial of locations will be unable to dislodge our sadness or misanthropy.
We can feel anxious and envious even though the floor we’re standing on has been imported from a remote quarry, and finely sculpted window frames have been painted a soothing grey. Our inner metronome can be unimpressed by the efforts of workmen to create a fountain or nurture a symmetrical line of oak trees. We can fall into a petty argument which ends in threats of divorce in a building by Geoffrey Bawa or L