Buildings Must Die

Buildings Must Die

Mit Press | July 20, 2019 | 304 pages

Buildings, although inanimate, are often assumed to have "life." And thearchitect, through the act of design, is assumed to be their conceiver and creator. But what of the"death" of buildings? What of the decay, deterioration, and destruction to which they areinevitably subject? And what might such endings mean for architecture's sense of itself? InBuildings Must Die, Stephen Cairns and Jane Jacobs look awry at corearchitectural concerns. They examine spalling concrete and creeping rust, contemplate ruins old andnew, and pick through the rubble of earthquake-shattered churches, imploded housing projects, anddemolished Brutalist office buildings. Their investigation of the death of buildings reordersarchitectural notions of creativity, reshapes architecture's preoccupation with good form, loosensits vanities of durability, and expands its sense of value. It does so not to kill off architectureas we know it, but to rethink its agency and its capacity to make worlds differently. Cairns and Jacobs offer an original contemplation of architecture that draws ontheories of waste and value. Their richly illustrated case studies of building "deaths"include the planned and the unintended, the lamented and the celebrated. They take us from Moline toChristchurch, from London to Bangkok, from Tokyo to Paris. And they feature the work of sucharchitects as Eero Saarinen, Carlo Scarpa, Cedric Price, Arata Isozaki, Rem Koolhaas and FrançoisRoche. Buildings Must Die is both a memento mori forarchitecture and a call to to reimagine the design values that lay at the heart of its creativepurpose.

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ISBN: 9780262026932

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