Thomas van Leeuwen – The Springboard in the Pond

Lecture date: 1999-03-11

Introducing the architecture of the four elements, Thomas van Leeuwen investigates the relationship of water to built form through the evolution of the private swimming pool as a building type and cultural artefact. Exploring themes from his book The Springboard in the Pond : An Intimate History of the Swimming Pool he examines the human relationship to water from a variety of viewpoints: social, religious, artistic, sexual, psychological, technical, and above all architectural.

Thomas van Leeuwen was professor of architectural history, cultural history, and art criticism at Leiden University for many years. He is also the author of The Skyward Trend of Thought: Metaphysics of the American Skyscraper. The books are part of his tetralogy on the four classical elements, earth, water, air and fire (plus the fifth element ‘fluxus’ change and movement).

NB: Very low volume during Q & A.


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