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The Springboard in the Pond: An Intimate History of the Swimming Pool (Graham Foundation/Mit Press Series in Contemporary Architect) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. Februar 2000

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" "The Springboard in the Pond" is a bracing intellectual plunge. A searching exploration of manners, morals, and darker truths in cultural and architectural history, it is both insightfully serious and wildly funny." -- Thomas S. Hines, "Los Angeles Times" " [R]ichly written and generously illustrated... van Leeuwen succeeds in showing us the depths beneath the tinest ripples of history." -- Phil Patton, "Civilization"

& quot; The Springboard in the Pond is a bracing intellectual plunge. A searching exploration of manners, morals, and darker truths in cultural and architectural history, it is both insightfully serious and wildly funny.& quot; -- Thomas S. Hines, Los Angeles Times & quot; [R]ichly written and generously illustrated... van Leeuwen succeeds in showing us the depths beneath the tinest ripples of history.& quot; -- Phil Patton, Civilization

""The Springboard in the Pond" is a bracing intellectual plunge. A searching exploration of manners, morals, and darker truths in cultural and architectural history, it is both insightfully serious and wildly funny."--Thomas S. Hines, "Los Angeles Times""[R]ichly written and generously illustrated... van Leeuwen succeeds in showing us the depths beneath the tinest ripples of history."--Phil Patton, "Civilization"

Synopsis

Although others have written eloquently on the relationship of water to built form, until now, no-one has investigated the swimming pool as a quintessentially modern and American space, reflecting America's infatuation with hygiene, skin and recreation. This text looks at the domestic swimming pool and discovers an icon through which to read 20th-century modernism. At one level, the book is a rereading of modern architecture that seeks to alter its story. At another level, it is the story of the origin and evolution of the private swimming pool as a building type and cultural artefact. At yet another level, it is a material philosophy of water. Van Leeuwen explores that human relationship to water from a variety of viewpoints: social, religious, artistic, sexual, psychological, technical, and above all, architectural. Throughout the book he weaves a series of analogies to three emblematic animals - frog, swan and penguin - that represent three prevailing human attitudes towards water: hydrophilia, hydrophobia and ambivalence. The book's many illustrations - drawings, plans and photographs - come from an unusual variety of sources.

The book is the second in a planned tetralogy by the author, with each volume centered on the relationship of architecture to one of the four classical elements.

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This is the second in an anticipated series of four unorthodox books by a Dutch historian on architecture in relation to the classical elements: sky, water, fire and earth. The first volume, about the metaphysics of the American skyscraper, was published in 1988; while the third, which will focus on buildings destroyed by fire, is in preparation. This second volume, which is illustrated by more than 200 drawings, plans and vintage photographs, is a wonderful visual and verbal review of the origin and evolution of the domestic swimming pool, which is, as the author describes it, "the architectural outcome of man's desire to become one with the element of water, privately and free of danger." To swim in a hole in the backyard, he continues, "is a complex and curious activity, one that oscillates between joy and fear, between domination and submission, for the swimmer delivers himself with controlled abandonment to the forces of gravity, resulting in sensations of weight- and timelessness." This is a history of architecture, as exemplified by a single building type; while, at the same time, it is a rich, multi-faceted social history in which the behavior of humans toward water is shown in relation to religion, sex, art, psychology, engineering and architecture. (Copyright by Roy R. Behrens from Ballast Quarterly Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, Autumn 1999.)
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
T.A.P. van Leeuwen, a teacher of mine, has written a book about all the different aspects of the swimming pool. TAP van Leeuwen manages to evoke new kinds of interesting emotions concerning water- and he manages to fill the pool with these emotions. After all, the pool, as he himself describes it, has no very interesting shape: it's just a floating boarding or a concrete hole-in-the-ground.
TAP van Leeuwen has made an excellent choice to show as much as possible in different media, all shattered around on the spread: notes next to the text next to pics. The very thorough and beautiful design of the book itself makes this possible- and points back to its archetype, the "Bauen in Frankreich"-book by Sigfried Giedion (a lifelong teacher for van Leeuwen). I liked very much the part about all the fifties-Hollywood-stars, sitting besides or floating atop of the water, in their expensive tweed costumes, afraid of the water and proud of their success (of owning a pool?). Let's all take a dive into the richness of this book, a book definitely not about architecture, only, architecture is the only housing into which these stories have a room.
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