Henry Van De Velde on Rational Beauty, Empathy and Ornament

This book explores the different aspects of Henry van de Velde’s creative activity through a study of his writings and major works of his German period (1900-1916), including his unpublished manuscript on ornament. The study casts light on this major figure in Early Modern architecture, specifically on his aesthetic theory, centered around themes such as “rational conception” and “empathy”.

This study focuses on this specific period of van de Velde’s work, as it constitutes the period of his greatest activity as a designer, teacher, and architect. While examining the relation between his writings and his built works, it thematically addresses the different architectural works realized by the architect during this period.


Elie Haddad is a Professor of Architecture at the Lebanese American University, where he has been teaching since 1994. He completed his PhD in 1998 at the University of Pennsylvania with a dissertation on Henry van de Velde. Between 2009 and 2019, he received several fellowships to conduct research on modern architecture in Germany, specifically on social housing and the work of Bruno Taut, Martin Wagner, and Hans Scharoun in Berlin, and Ernst May in Frankfurt. His publications include A Critical History of Contemporary Architecture (co-edited with David Rifkind, 2014), The Contested Territory of Architectural Theory (Forthcoming, 2023) and Modern Architecture in a Post-Modern Era, (Forthcoming, 2023).

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ISBN: 1-5275-8839-4

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-8839-4

Release Date: 27th September 2022

Pages: 266

Price: £67.99

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ISBN: 1-5275-2257-1

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-2257-2

Release Date: 4th July 2023

Pages: 266

Price: £33.99

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