The Postmodern European City


  • Hans Ibelings University of Toronto



Public Space


One of the books I would love to write, but probably never will, is a
history of the European exterior, a complement to Mario Praz’s 1963 monograph on the European interior, La filosofia dell’arredamento, the first version of which had appeared in 1945. Praz covers interiors from Greek and Roman Antiquity up to English Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau, mainly through paintings, watercolors and engravings. These images reflect the domestic bliss of an elite who could afford this happiness and afford to commission artists to depict it. Despite the double layer of mediation—this being Praz’s reading of images that by themselves offer a filtered interpretation of an idealized, protected daily life in the interiors of a privileged class—the book manages to transmit the sense of a bygone life between walls.


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Author Biography

Hans Ibelings, University of Toronto

  • Lecturer

Hans Ibelings is an architectural historian. Since 2012, he has been the editor and publisher of The Architecture Observer. Prior to this, he was the editor of A10 new European architecture, a magazine he founded in 2004 together with graphic designer Arjan Groot.

Ibelings is the author of a number of books, including European Architecture Since 1890 (2011), and Supermodernism: Architecture in the Age of Globalization (1998/2003).

Together with Alex Josephson and PARTISANS he has published Rise and Sprawl: The Condomininiumization of Toronto (2016). Currently, Mauricio Quiros and he are working on a book about modern architecture in Central America.