Skip to main content

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Here Comes the Sun

Architecture and Public Space in Twentieth-Century European Culture

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Here Comes the Sun

Architecture and Public Space in Twentieth-Century European Culture

Here Comes the Sun looks at how social reformers, planners and architects in the early twentieth century tried to remake the city in the image of a sunlit, ordered utopia. While much has been written about architectural modernism, Worpole concentrates less on buildings and more on the planning of the spaces in-between – the parks, public squares, open-air museums, promenades, public pools and other public leisure facilities. Life in the open was of particular concern to early urban planners and reformers, with their dreams of release from the confines of overcrowded, unsanitary slums. Picturing youthful working-class bodies made healthy by exercise and tanned by the sun, they imagined an escape route from cities. Worpole demonstrates how open-air public spaces became sought-after commissions for many early modernist architects in the early 1900s, resulting in the transformation of the European cityscape.

"...a fascinating account of the political idealism that informed urban planning for the first two-thirds of the twentieth-century...full of insights into how public space influences a sense of belonging and ownership."—The Guardian

"This is one of those books you stroke lovingly. Open it, and there is page after page of beautiful photographs...this book combines history, society, politics, environment and place in a well-written and emotive text. The strength of the book is the way it crosses these traditional boundaries and disciplines."—Town and Country Planning

"Drawing on architectural theories, philosophy, literature and even film-making, Worpole’s book is wide-ranging and erudite and should be of interest to the layperson as well as to the urban planner. It is also elegantly written and complemented by a mixture of black and white and colour photographs to provide a visual emphasis to the points he raises."—N16 Magazine

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.

224 pages

Architecture: European Architecture

Culture Studies

History: European History

Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books

Table of Contents

The Body and the City: An Introductory Essay
1. Here Comes the Sun: Port Sunlight, Town Planning and the New Life
2. Our Northern Hearts: Architecture, Design and the Art of Right Living
3. Live Out of Doors as Much as You Can: The Architecture of Public Health
4. Bring the Landscape in to the House: Housing for the New Society
5. Parks, Pleasure Gardens and the Democracy of the Open Air
6. Summer in the City: The Cult of the Lido
7. Limits to Growth: Nature and Society Restored
Coda: Beneath City Skies: New Parks in Europe
Photographic Acknowledgements

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press