Leon Krier, whose thinking has had a profound influence upon the New Urbanism since the very beginning, has accepted an honorary membership in the New Urban Guild! The honor, in reality, is all ours. It was Krier’s lecture in Miami in 1980 that completely changed the careers of Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. Without Krier, Duany and Plater-Zyberk likely would have still been designing high-rise condos, and the nearly 300 towns and neighborhoods they designed would not exist. One wonders whether, without Krier, the New Urbanism as a movement would even exist?
Krier’s work wasn’t defined by a single virtuoso lecture thirty years ago... not by a long shot. His writings have had, and continue to have, a profound effect on two generations of architects and planners... and counting. His most recent book, The Architecture of Community, is an essential resource for anyone hoping to contribute to sustainable place-making.
This work continues a long track record of unusually idea-rich books such as Architecture: Choice or Fate and several others. You can’t just flip through a Krier book in a couple hours... there’s so much content there that you could spend weeks digesting it all.
The brilliance, however, is that this wealth of ideas can be easily digested in small bits. Those bits are built around Krier’s highly-provocative cartoon drawings. Never in the architectural world have so many ideas been skewered so thoroughly with so little ink.
And when Krier sets about to advance a great idea rather than rebuke the regrettable ones, he’s equally incisive here as well, articulating principles with such clarity that they are likely never to be forgotten.
The New Urban Guild has, since the beginning, placed high value upon great ideas. At the same time, the Guild has been an eminently practical organization, focused on ideas that work as opposed to the purely theoretical. It’s no mystery, therefore, why we have always held Leon Krier in such high regard: he is a consummate man of ideas, but he puts them forward in such a way that they effect real change in the way we build our places and our buildings. Welcome aboard, Mr. Krier!