"Modern architecture, except on its engineering side, has not yet found itself." So stated Claude Bragdon in this 1915 book. An architect himself-and one of the most fascinating thinkers of the early 20th century-Bragdon here blames the urban disconnect from the natural world for the dearth of ornamentation to rival ancient civilizations, which drew inspiration from nature.
As an alternative, Bragdon offers geometry as an appropriately modern, scientific inducement to ornament, and delves into the mystical mathematics of magic lines and magic squares, of tesseracts and hyperspheres, demonstrating their beauty and grace. Complete with charming line drawings of historical architecture and new, geometrically playful forms, this is a book artists and beauty-seekers today will continue to find provocative.
Other works by Bragdon available from Cosimo Classics: Yoga for You, The Eternal Poles, Four-Dimensional Vistas, The Beautiful Necessity, Architecture and Democracy, Episodes from An Unwritten History, and A Primer of Higher Space (The Fourth Dimension).
American architect, stage designer, and writer CLAUDE FAYETTE BRAGDON (1866-1946) helped found the Rochester Architectural Club, in the city where he made his greatest mark as a building designer with structures including Rochester Central Station, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the First Universalist Church; he also designed Peterborough Bridge in Ontario. In later life, Bragdon worked on Broadway as scenic designer for 1930s productions of Cyrano de Bergerac and Hamlet, among others.