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Today's bustling tourism has proved itself a double-edged sword: on the one hand it acquaints great numbers of people with cities and sights they might otherwise have missed; on the other it focuses on individual landmarks that the city as a whole is obscured and confused. Steen Eiler Rasmussen concentrates here on the town as a unity, as a whole composed of buildings and places.Most of the town plans are scaled to 1:20,000 for easy over-all comparison; several famous places are reduced to 1:2000 for closer comparison. The buildings are for the most part presented in three views: the first, en face: then the same view, minus the facade; and finally a top view, as if the upper stories had been removed. The result is a picture t of static facade and monument but of rooms and houses and towns where people live.
Steen Eiler Rasmussen was Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and Visiting Professor at M.I.T., Yale, Pennsylvania, and the University of California, Berkeley, and lectured widely at universities in Europe and the United States. He was author of London: The Unique City, called the best book on London as a town, and other books.