At the very beginning of The Difficult Whole, the editors explain that it is “a book about the architecture of Robert Venturi, not around it. The aim is to document what is there. The book shows the work, it doesn't over-interpret” (15). Thus readers are promised that they are about to receive a deadpan presentation of projects and buildings conceived by the office Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown from 1959 through 1985. Indeed, the largest and central part of the volume consists of twenty-eight monographic pieces on VRSB projects, each combining a short text, several documents from the firm's archives preserved at the University of Pennsylvania, and...

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