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Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan [Paperback]

Rem Koolhaas
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 1 1997
Since its original publication in 1978, Delirious New York has attained mythic status. Back in print in a newly designed edition, this influential cultural, architectural, and social history of New York is even more popular, selling out its first printing on publication. Rem Koolhaas's celebration and analysis of New York depicts the city as a metaphor for the incredible variety of human behavior. At the end of the nineteenth century, population, information, and technology explosions made Manhattan a laboratory for the invention and testing of a metropolitan lifestyle -- "the culture of congestion" -- and its architecture.

"Manhattan," he writes, "is the 20th century's Rosetta Stone . . . occupied by architectural mutations (Central Park, the Skyscraper), utopian fragments (Rockefeller Center, the U.N. Building), and irrational phenomena (Radio City Music Hall)." Koolhaas interprets and reinterprets the dynamic relationship between architecture and culture in a number of telling episodes of New York's history, including the imposition of the Manhattan grid, the creation of Coney Island, and the development of the skyscraper. Delirious New York is also packed with intriguing and fun facts and illustrated with witty watercolors and quirky archival drawings, photographs, postcards, and maps. The spirit of this visionary investigation of Manhattan equals the energy of the city itself.

Frequently Bought Together

Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan + Yes Is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution + S, M, L, XL
Price For All Three: CDN$ 106.28

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Product Description

From Amazon

In this fanciful volume, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, founder of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.), both analyzes and celebrates New York City. By suggesting the city as the site for an infinite variety of human activities and events--both real and imagined--the essence of the metropolitan lifestyle, its "culture of congestion" and its architecture are revealed in a brilliant new light. "Manhattan," Koolhaas writes, "is the 20th century's Rosetta stone . . . occupied by architectural mutations (Central Park, the Skyscraper), utopian fragments (Rockefeller Center, the U.N. Building), and irrational phenomena (Radio City Music Hall)." Filled with fascinating facts, as well as photographs, postcards, maps, watercolors, and drawings, the vibrancy of Koolhaas's poignant exploration of Gotham equals the heady, frenetic energy of the city itself. Anyone who loves New York will want to own this book.

From Library Journal

"Koolhaas's retroactive manifesto explains Manhattan's architecture as the physical embodiment of a 'culture of congestion,' " said LJ's reviewer of this mixture of architectural theory and social commentary (LJ 3/15/79).
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great starting point. Nov. 18 2000
Format:Paperback
An easily digestible read filled with delicious facts about the big apple. This book can change the way one sees New York forever. Be it from a street level, or from an intellectual level. "Delirious New York" helps to rediscover Manhattan, and it helps to discover the idea of Manhattan in places far away from "The City".
This publication is a perfect starting point for any exploration into the past or the future of urbanism, architecture, and of course New York City and the people who helped to shape this ever growing marvel.
A must read, and a perfect gift for anyone who is even remotely touched by New York.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandatory Reading March 6 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I originally read the first edition of this book when it came out in the 70s. It completely transformed (or formed) my thinking about the city, the processes by which a city develops and grows, and the innate playfulness of the city as a form. Despite its deceptive simplicity, I believe that this book will emerge as one of the essential texts of the twentieth century on urban design. Read it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling History of Manhattan Feb. 23 1998
Format:Paperback
A romp through New York's sometimes jaded history with a view to uncover the roots of the modern metropolis and the singular element devised by architects to inspire (amuse?) the masses - the Skyscraper. The book looks at Coney Island as the testing ground of the Skyscaper, Manhatten as further exploration of the Skyscaper which is trialed in the name of symbols of a propserous future, economic rationale and pushing the envelope to its limits and finishes with Office of Metropolitian Architecture's own experimental projects in New York. A very compelling history of a complex city.
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