How can a building's setting inform and inspire rather than limit architectural design? This book responds with a highly engaging, informative discussion of context in architectural theory and practice. Eric Parry, one of the UK's most respected architects – whose work has been widely lauded for its innovative response to its setting – addresses the contemporary definition of context and its importance for sustainable everyday living and urban design. Looking beyond the formal agenda to explore the fundamentals that give new social and cultural perspective to this vital point of departure for designers, this book turns the urban statistician's telescopic focus on global trends inside-out; in so doing, it provides valuable insights into the cultural and physical conditions that make archetypes like the Parisian café, the London high street, the Baltic city square and the Mumbai market part of the architect's lexicon. From the ground up – from the pavements beneath our feet through to the horizon beyond and above us and the wider landscape – context is explored at every level in all its manifestations.
This book draws on the author's extensive experience within complex urban settings to show how the existing fabric and social conditions can provide an essential starting point for design, offering a framework for thinking about the relationship between architectural design and the cultural origins of place. Whereas existing city centres, particularly historic ones, are generally regarded as limiting to architectural creativity, context here is demonstrated to be a source of inspiration that can act as a significant catalyst for the revitalisation of urban areas internationally.
Keywords: Building Design