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Modern Architecture Since 1900

This work on 20th-century architecture combines a clear general outline with analysis and interpretation of particular buildings. While technical, economic, social and intellectual developments are fully treated, the final emphasis is on individuals and on the qualities that give buildings their lasting value. For this revised and updated third edition, an appreciation of regional identity and variety has been incorporated, and also a section on recent architecture. There are many new colour illustrations, plans and drawings. The bibliography and notes have also been extended. This book sets the Modern tradition in perspective, relating it to earlier traditions, and analyzing its richness and complexity.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 The formative strands of Modern architecture: the idea of a Modern architecture in the 19th century; industrialization and the city - the skyscraper as type and symbol; the search for new forms and the problem of ornament; rationalism, the engineering tradition, and reinforced concrete; arts and crafts ideals in Britain and the USA; responses to mechanization - the Deutscher Werkbund and futurism; the architectural system of Frank Lloyd Wright; national romanticism and classical transformations; cubism and new conceptions of space. Part 2 The crystallization of Modern architecture between the wars: Le Corbusier's quest for ideal form; Walter Gropius, German expressionism, and the Bauhaus; architecture and revolution in Russia; skyscraper and suburb - the USA between the wars; the ideal community - alternatives to the industrial city; the international style, the individual talent, and the myth of functionalism; the image and idea of Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye at Poissy; the continuity of older traditions; nature and the machine - Mies van der Rohe, Wright and Le Corbusier in the 1930s; totalitarian critiques of the Modern movement; the spread of modern architecture to Britain and Finland; universal models, national inflections and regional accents. Part 3 Transformation and dissemination after 1940: modern architecture in the USA - immigration and consolidation; form and meaning in the late works of Le Corbusier; the Unite d'Habitation at Marseilles as a collective housing prototype; Alvar Aalto and Scandinavian developments; disjunctions and continuities in the Europe of the 1950s; the process of absorption - Latin America, Australia, Japan; Louis I. Kahn and the challenge of monumentality; architecture and anti-architecture in Britain; crises and critiques in the 1960s; modernity and tradition in the Third World; architectural types and urban fragments - new directions in the 1970s. Part 4 Changing ideals in the late 20th century: modern architecture and the historical sense; world cultures and local identities; traditions of the modern; towards architecture, beyond style.

About the Author

William Curtis has won worldwide acclaim for his architectural writing. His books include Le Corbusier: Ideas and Forms and Denys Lasdun, both published by Phaidon.


'the book is excellent value.' Architects' Journal 'as close to a definitive guide to the architecture of our century as we yet have.' Sunday Times 'A book of this length and depth is an unimaginable achievement...' Building Design 'comprehensive, up-to-date and very readable.' Sunday Telegraph 'This should be a standard volume in all architecture collections.' Library Journal '... the clearest and most authentic survey to appear in English. ... Essential reading, indeed breath-taking reading' Architecture New Zealand

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