Book
Space Packed: The Architecture of Alfred Neumann

Ever an intellectual and independent thinker, the Czech modernist architect Alfred Neumann (1900–1968) believed in the artistic role of architecture as the poetic and utilitarian shaping of a “humanized” space. Yet while he achieved professional recognition internationally, Neumann was never fully accepted by the architectural establishment in his adopted country, Israel, and remained a perpetual outsider.  Space Packed: The Architecture of Alfred Neumann is the first book to examine his unique work.

Departing from the orthogonal and functionalist expressions of the International Style of modern architecture popular during his lifetime, Neumann instead conceived of buildings as spatial assemblies of repeated, stacked, and interconnected polyhedral units scaled proportionally to the dimensions of the human body.  In the context of mid-twentieth-century architecture, Neumann’s design method reconciled two distinct approaches to composing built space: he bridged the longstanding practice of conceptualizing buildings as confined, standalone objects with a newer mode of treating architecture as patterns.  His body of work constitutes an alternative strand of modernism that reflects both rational-technocratic and individual-artistic approaches to design.

Neumann’s story is that of the architect’s struggle for creative freedom within a society that demanded conformity.  It raises perennial questions about the role of the architect and probes conflicts between function and form, rationalism and art, which lay at the center of modern architectural discourse and continue to vex the discipline to this day.

In this book, Segal examines several of Neumann’s built works, unrealized designs, and writings to shine light on his important contributions to architecture in the context of post-war modernism and the establishment of the State of Israel in the middle of the twentieth century.

image list:  1] Dancinger Building, 2] Bat Yam,  3]  Bat Yam diagrams, 4] Dubiner, 5] Achziv, 6] book cover 7-9] book pages

Title
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSegal R
Number of Pages352
PublisherPark Books
CityZurich, Switzerland
ISBN9783038600558
Abstract

Ever an intellectual and independent thinker, the Czech modernist architect Alfred Neumann (1900–1968) believed in the artistic role of architecture as the poetic and utilitarian shaping of a “humanized” space. Yet while he achieved professional recognition internationally, Neumann was never fully accepted by the architectural establishment in his adopted country, Israel, and remained a perpetual outsider.  Space Packed: The Architecture of Alfred Neumann is the first book to examine his unique work.

Departing from the orthogonal and functionalist expressions of the International Style of modern architecture popular during his lifetime, Neumann instead conceived of buildings as spatial assemblies of repeated, stacked, and interconnected polyhedral units scaled proportionally to the dimensions of the human body.  In the context of mid-twentieth-century architecture, Neumann’s design method reconciled two distinct approaches to composing built space: he bridged the longstanding practice of conceptualizing buildings as confined, standalone objects with a newer mode of treating architecture as patterns.  His body of work constitutes an alternative strand of modernism that reflects both rational-technocratic and individual-artistic approaches to design.

Neumann’s story is that of the architect’s struggle for creative freedom within a society that demanded conformity.  It raises perennial questions about the role of the architect and probes conflicts between function and form, rationalism and art, which lay at the center of modern architectural discourse and continue to vex the discipline to this day.

In this book, Segal examines several of Neumann’s built works, unrealized designs, and writings to shine light on his important contributions to architecture in the context of post-war modernism and the establishment of the State of Israel in the middle of the twentieth century.

image list:  1] Dancinger Building, 2] Bat Yam,  3]  Bat Yam diagrams, 4] Dubiner, 5] Achziv, 6] book cover 7-9] book pages