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Krier, Léon

Krier, Léon (1946– ). Luxembourg-born architect and theorist, he has championed Rational architecture, influenced, perhaps, by Durand, and has seen early C19 Neo-Classicism as a suitable means of recovering the civilized aspects of the European City before industrialization. His seductive graphics and powerful polemical writings have aroused new interest in the qualities of street, square, and urban district, and his work might be said to be a series of meditations on urban themes in a world where so much has been devalued. His view of the city as a document of intelligence, memory, and pleasure is the antithesis of the concept of the disposable, adaptable, plug-in city of Archigram, Metabolism, and other advocates, and he has been critical of Post-Modernism and stylistic pluralism, condemning both as unserious, unintellectual Kitsch. He has seen de-zoning of activities in cities to be essential and is fundamentally opposed to the views of Le Corbusier, CIAM, and the Athens Charter that seem to be firmly embedded virtually everywhere, despite efforts by Jane Jacobs and many others to excise them. He was involved in the creation of the master-plan for the Duchy of Cornwall development at Poundbury, Dorset, England (1988–91). Among his most ravishing visions is his version of Pliny's villa (1982). More recently (1988–2002) he produced the master-plan for Città Nuova, Alessandria, the provincial capital in Piedmont. Working with Gabriele Tagliaventi (1960– ), he has produced a model for civilized urban living, drawing on the strong urban tradition of Mediterranean countries.

Bibliography

Country Life, cxcvi/47 (21 Nov. 2002), 80–1;
Kalman (1994);
Economakis (ed.) (1992);
Klotz (1988);
L. Krier (ed.) (1978, 1981, 1985);
L. Krier & and Pavan (1980);
Ruffinière du Prey (1994)

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