100 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781848223264 • Publication: December 2, 2019
Understanding the Character of the City
Available for preorder: this book will be shipped on its publication date of December 2, 2019
DescriptionUrban character is frequently cited by planners, developers and architects as something they wish to protect and enhance. But little or no effort is ever made to define urban character in specific or quantitative terms. On one level this understandable. Urban character is not a distinct or scientific entity; it cannot be described in definitive historic or decorative terms like an architectural style nor does it have measureable technical or structural attributes like a building or a bridge. Part of the quality and charm or urban character is its very amorphous and even atmospheric nature, the ‘feeling’ of a place is always harder to describe than its ‘look’. But that ‘feeling’ is an absolutely integral part of how we judge and experience cities.
In ‘Designing London’, architect and critic Ike Ijeh provides a definitive and comprehensive analysis of London’s urban character. He establishes
key principles by which the architecture of the capital’s streets, buildings and spaces can be designed to enhance the character of the city. He first identifies and analyses the constituent physical, social and environmental ingredients that form London’s urban character and reviews the architectural, historic and planning context within which these ingredients operate. And secondly, he identifies, via case studies of recent and proposed architectural projects, working examples of how London’s character has either been undermined or enhanced. Ultimately, the book emphasises the enormous value of London’s unique urban character and encourages greater understanding and awareness of how that character is directly affected by architectural design decisions.