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"Architectonic Space" is the most complete and coherent treatise on the nature, purpose and meaning of architecture that has so far been attempted. It is the product of its author's lifetime pursuit of an idea that has haunted him from childhood: a search for the archetypal basis of the act of building. Seeing architecture not merely as the expression, but as the precondition of human culture, Hans van der Laan believes that its principles must be sought within architecture itself, rather than in technological, social or ideological factors. His buildings and writings stand out like tablets of stone amid the prevailing uncertainty and opportunism. The style and method of his book - its rational building up of an argument founded on simple everyday experience - remind one forcibly of the early Greek thinkers, just as Van der Laan's architecture recalls the houses and cities of the ancient world.