Adopting Kafka as a lens to examine modern concepts in architecture, this book pries open new interpretations in Kafka scholarship. Each of eight chapters takes up an architectural element with which to explore meanings central to both literature and architecture. Stairs function as vertical access but in Kafka's hands become an instrument of science, testing the merit of natural selection. Kafka's doors open and close less to allow passage than to reconcile one psychological interior with the next. Notions of plumbing and hygiene begin to acquire new meaning. The architecture of Mies van der Rohe begins to make more sense, especially his tabula rasa approach to design, signifying less a harsh disdain for site and more a response to a reality in which the ceremony of the stairs had died and was replaced by the pervasive flatness of the modern floor.