Rome – Las Vegas

Bread and Circuses

The cities of Rome and Las Vegas commonly sit at opposite ends of what architecture represents: whereas the former capital of the Roman Empire is perceived as ancient, proper and eternal, Sin City is described as flashy, vulgar and fake. Yet, both find themselves historically and contemporarily at the intersection of power and play.

Released fifty years after Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi’s now canonical “Learning From Las Vegas” (1972), the images in this book capture the atmosphere of both cities from the sky to the ground, revealing unexpected similarities and rediscovering Las Vegas’s extravaganza on the streets of Rome. Iwan Baan’s photographs contrast and subvert common perceptions of authenticity and artificiality and ultimately question such bipolar distinctions. In their dialogue, the photographs follow Scott Brown and Venturi’s plea to first look, understand and only then judge.

The cities of Rome and Las Vegas commonly sit at opposite ends of what architecture represents: whereas the former capital of the Roman Empire is perceived as ancient, proper and eternal, Sin City is described as flashy, vulgar and fake. Yet, both find themselves historically and contemporarily at the intersection of power and play.

Released fifty years after Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi’s now canonical “Learning From Las Vegas” (1972), the images in this book capture the atmosphere of both cities from the sky to the ground, revealing unexpected similarities and rediscovering Las Vegas’s extravaganza on the streets of Rome. Iwan Baan’s photographs contrast and subvert common perceptions of authenticity and artificiality and ultimately question such bipolar distinctions. In their dialogue, the photographs follow Scott Brown and Venturi’s plea to first look, understand and only then judge.

Author(s): Iwan Baan

With contributions by Lindsay Harris, Izzy Kornblatt, Ryan Scavnicky

Design: Haller Brun

17 × 22,7 cm, 7 × 9 in

320 pages, 180 illustrations

paperback

2024, 978-3-03778-753-3, English
CHF 45.00
New

Iwan Baan

Photo Iwan Baan

Iwan Baan (*1975) is a Dutch architecture and documentary photographer based in Amsterdam. His photography focuses on the life of architecture and how people reappropriate their built environment to make it their own. Baan has worked with leading architects and architecture studios such as Rem Koolhaas/OMA, Herzog & de Meuron, SANAA, Zaha Hadid and Steven Holl, and his images regularly appear in national and international newspapers and magazines. He has authored or collaborated on many books and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2012. Baan's work has been exhibited internationally, including a retrospective exhibition launched at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein in 2023/2024.