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.
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