PERSONAL: Male. Education: B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees; diploma in architecture.
CAREER: University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, professor of architecture. Also taught at universities of Sheffield and Bath; previously worked as a practicing architect.
MEMBER: Royal Institute of British Architects.
(Editor) What Is Architecture?, Routledge (New York, NY), 2002.
(Editor) Architecture: Modernism and After, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2004.
(Editor with Dana Arnold) Architecture as Experience: Radical Changes in Spatial Practice, Routledge (New York, NY), 2004.
Architecture Theory: Essential Writings in Philosophy and Culture, Continuum (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: British educator Andrew Ballantyne has written and edited several books on architecture, including Architecture, Landscape, and Liberty: RichardPayne Knight and the Picturesque. In this book, Ballantyne profiles the accomplishments of Richard Payne Knight (1751-1824), an eccentric and wealthy English gentleman who pursued diverse scholarly interests. Knight designed his own home, Downton Castle, which broke with architectural tradition in its asymmetrical design. Knight's tastes were influenced by his admiration of ancient Greece, and he did not mind challenging popular trends and ideas. Ballantyne sifts through Knight's ideas and writings, which include the long poem "The Landscape," the prose work Principles of Taste, and a study of phallic worship, The Worship of Priapus.
In Architectural Review David Watkin called the book a "brilliant study, which should be read by all students of the Enlightenment." Watkin also noted that Ballantyne "convincingly reconciles the passionate paradoxes in Knight's intellectual career." According to Kerry Downes in the Times Literary Supplement, "Ballantyne argues that Knight's misfortune was never to manage to convey to the public his highly unconventional but consistent and complete world view." Downes suggested that, "For those without the leisure or the stomach for Knight's own writings, this book is a boon. It is long, and losing one's place or one's thread is easy enough. But it brings its subject vividly to life in ways not open to the best of painters."
What Is Architecture? is a collection of essays edited by Ballantyne, including his own work, "The Nest and the Pillar of Fire." In this introductory essay Ballantyne discusses how architecture is comprised of both the mundane and the extraordinary. Other contributors to the book include Robert Scruton, Demetri Porphyrios, Neil Leach, and David Goldblatt. Times Literary Supplement critic Robert Maxwell concluded, "the big question about how free an art architecture really is remains open, but Ballantyne has made an impressive assault on the initial uncertainties."
Reviewing Architecture: A Very Short Introduction for the Times Literary Supplement, Maxwell he described that book as "treating [architecture] as a subject open to culture, and definable only within culture." Rather than discussing or defining architectural styles, in this volume Ballantyne identifies the qualities that give buildings emotional and artistic impact.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Architectural Review, August, 1997, David Watkin, review of Architecture, Landscape, and Liberty: Richard Payne Knight and the Picturesque, p. 88.
Times Literary Supplement, May 1, 1998, Kerry Downes, review of Architecture, Landscape, and Liberty, p. 36; April 5, 2002, Robert Maxwell, review of What Is Architecture?, p. 31; January 17, 2003, Maxwell, review of Architecture: A Very Short Introduction, p. 29.*