Since its original publication in , Delirious New York has attained mythic status. Back in print in a newly designed edition, this influential cultural. Delirious New York is a retroactive manifesto of Manhattan’s architectural enterprise: it untangles the theories, tactics and dissimulations that allowed New York’s. Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan is an engaging review of modern architecture and urbanism, setting a celebratory.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Since its original publication inDelirious 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 Retroative celebration and analysis of New York depicts the city as a metaphor for the incredible v Since its ddlirious publication inDelirious New York has attained mythic status.

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. Buildingand irrational phenomena Radio City Music Hall.

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. Paperbackpages. Published December 1st by The Monacelli Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Delirious New Yorkplease sign up. A lot of it is about the Architecture and how it came to be.

Delirious New York

See 1 question about Delirious New York…. Lists with This Book. Jun 02, Alex rated it did not like it Recommends it for: Jul 09, Johnjbrantley rated it it was amazing.

The main thing I learned kanhattan this book is that architects have incredible freedom in establishing their own narratives. It helps when it is done masterfully, as is the case here. Seemingly unrelated and sometimes arbitrary elements intermingle to produce an intense and inimitable environment Fueled by Koolhaas’ precise and colorful verbal descriptions, the book makes good use of historical The main thing I learned from this book is that architects have incredible freedom maniesto establishing their own narratives.

Fueled by Koolhaas’ precise and colorful verbal descriptions, the book makes good use of historical images to produce a grand and absurd vision that, in my opinion, contains a healthy dose of self-criticism.


Jun 14, Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: His analysis is entertainingly idiosyncratic and yet curiously illuminating. It contains a wealth of strange anecdotes, a forest of illustrations, and several underlying theses about the nature of New York City.

The baker on board ship offers to bake a version 2. His Reinforced Dough is just another false act among the multitudes.

Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan – Rem Koolhaas – Google Books

Theoretical points are raised in a similar, vaguely impressionistic fashion. This description is both acute and comical: The Parisian authorities do not take the Radiant proposal seriously. Their rejection forces Le Corbusier to become a Cartesian carpetbagger, peddling his horizontal glass Skyscraper like a furious prince dragging a colossal glass slipper delirrious an Odyssey from Metropolis to Metropolis.

He thought not only that pedestrians should be relegated to first floor walkways to leave the entire street for cars, but that x front of buildings should be cut into for additional parking and traffic lanes, culminating in twenty lane streets. Can you imagine if this dystopian scheme had materialised. Koolhaas provides detailed insight into the antecedents of iconic buildings such as the Rockefeller Centre and a real sense of the spirit of the city in the first three decades of the twentieth century, in his inimitable style.

Nov 17, Clif Brittain rated it really liked it Shelves: This was a wonderful book. Full of great ideas, telling wonderful stories, giving great descriptions. But what was it about? After I read it a dozen more times, I might be able to tell you. It is about Manhattanism. Manhattanism was defined concisely once within the book, but I can’t find it again.

Two constrictions define Manhattan. The grid map ofThis was a wonderful book. It was purely man over nature. The second constriction was the Zoning Law, which prescribed how high a building could be in relation to its footprint. It was created in response to the realization that buildings produce shadows and that people seek to have access to light and air.

The book describes several architectural responses to these constrictions. The writing is very droll and mabifesto. Even if you don’t care about architecture, the writing is a lot of fun. The first response was Coney Island, a testing ground for how to bring nature back to the city.

The inhabitants of Manhattan nww discovered that they missed nature and wanted to recreate it. The mabhattan Coney Island is a pale shadow of the previous Coney Island.

The second project described is the first Waldorf-Astoria hotel, its geographic replacement cor The Empire State building, and its recreation, the reroactive Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

The story of the construction of the Empire State Building justifies reading delirioua entire book. A third project is the Downtown Athletic Club. This so fantastic I can’t believe it is true.

Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan

I jork know whether it was ever built, if it was occupied, or how long it existed. But even if only a dream, it would be considered too unreal to exist. A fourth project is the Rockefeller Center. Unconstrained by budget, designed by committee. How could it be so good? Less entertaining were the visits by Retroxctive and Le Corbusier and their attempts to “save” Manhattan. I must admit this part of the book held less fascination for me.


Dali is incomprehensible is the story of the Macy’s display true? Le Corbusier diagnosed the skyscrapers as being too small and thought the city should have a much bigger scale. What interested me most though was the story of the evolution of the skyscraper. It was enabled by the elevator. This enabled a theoretically infinite duplication of a footprint.

My favorite description in the book is the skyscraper as an extrusion. Every floor exactly as the previous floor. But soon elevators dominated the building and skyscrapers became pyramids with a core of elevators that decreased in area as they ascended.

The offices and apartments simply encased the elevators.

But when air conditioning became a possibility recreating nature within the manifestoothey no longer needed to be external pyramids.

They could again become perfect extrusions. Within the confines of the Zoning law, they had to expand their dellrious to gain more vertical space. Add to this the infinite need for rich white men to display phallic prowess, and you’ve got Manhattan! I love Manhattan and I can’t wait to get back and see some of these sights. I am just as impressed as anyone. Jun 29, Andrew added it Shelves: Koolhaas has great material. And he paints a wonderful picture of it at various historical and spatial stages.

I take issue with his overarching theory. Much like what I refer to as the “things stoners thinking of when watching Wallace and Gromit” school of literary criticism Baudrillard, Viriliohe prefers wacky style to cogent argument. A good example of his school can be found in this conclusion I came to while stoned and watching Wallace and Gromit Man is ultimately controlled by his quest for knowledge, and the once-noble project of Enlightenment is turned towards chaos and destruction.

What saves Koolhaas is the fact that he’s a working architect and, i’ll add, a damn fine one at that. If this is the basis manivesto that kind of noble, unearthly, whimsical, and still remarkably practical architecture, I’ll take it. Jan 22, Jochen rated it liked it. Auf einem Fasching, bei dem die Architekten als ihre eigenen Wolkenkratzer auftreten, stellt eine Frau das “Basin-Girl” dar: Ein Pool, von einem russischen Studenten entworfen.

Vielleicht ist dort ja inzwischen schon der Kommunismus angekommen? Immerhin Begriffe gelernt, mit denen man beschreiben kann, was an New York und der stalinistischen Bauepoche so fasziniert: