In this much-anticipated sequel to his critically acclaimed Makers of Modern Architecture (2007)
longtime New York Review of Books contributor Martin Filler--"probably the best all-round architecture critic currently working in the United States," according to the architectural journalist David Cohn--offers another penetrating series of concise but authoritative studies on leading exponents of the building art from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. Exemplifying his belief that an architect's personality and character have a direct and profound bearing on this most public and social of art forms, Filler's lively melding of biographical and aesthetic perspectives gives these accessible yet scrupulously researched interpretations a rare human immediacy.
This intriguing book is an informal, close-up biography of the friendship between Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) and Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). Author Shoji Sadao, who was friend and business partner to both, chronicles the respect, affection, and support they had for one another. Fuller's development of his Dymaxion Map and Car, and Geodesic geometry, are discussed in detail as is Noguchi's multifaceted career as sculptor, landscape architect, industrial designer, dance-set designer, and artist without borders who challenged the artificial opposition between the fine and applied arts. Sadao's role as partner to both gives him privileged access to details unavailable to others, resulting in a warm and intimate--and fully illustrated--narrative that documents an exceptional relationship.
Everyone knows what modern architecture looks like, but few understand how this revolutionary new form of building emerged little more than a century ago or what its aesthetic, social, even spiritual aspirations were. Through illuminating studies of the leading men and women who forever changed our built environment, veteran architecture critic Martin Filler offers fresh insights into this unprecedented cultural transformation. From Louis Sullivan, father of the skyscraper, to Frank Gehry, magician of post-millennial museum, Filler emphasizes how their force of personality has had a decisive effect on everything from how we inhabit our homes to how we shape our cities.Why was the sudden shift in architectural fashion that wrecked the career of the Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh not enough to destroy the indomitable spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright, who rose from adversity to become America's greatest architect? Why was Philip Johnson, "dean of American architecture" during the 1980s, so haunted by the superior talent of this less-fortunate contemporary Louis Kahn that he could barely utter his name even at the peak of his own success? How did Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's dictum "Less is more" give way to Robert Venturi's "Less is a bore"? Surveying such current urban design sagas as the reconstruction of Ground Zero and the reunification of Berlin, Filler also trains his sharp eye on some of the biggest names in architecture today, puncturing more than one overinflated reputation while identifying the true masters who are now building for the ages.
In elegant and often hilarious prose, Kunstler depicts our nation's evolution from the Pilgrim settlements to the modern auto suburb in all its ghastliness. The Geography of Nowhere tallies up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that America is paying for its car-crazed lifestyle. It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection. Kunstler proposes that by reviving civic art and civic life, we will rediscover public virtue and a new vision of the common good. "The future will require us to build better places," Kunstler says, "or the future will belong to other people in other societies."
This thematic presentation of the history of modernist architecture of Queensland, Australia provides a fascinating case of the interrelation of climatic design and an aspiration for distinct cultural identity for a region. As international modernism swept the world after the Second World War it confronted differing landscapes, climates, and building traditions. The case of Queensland is exemplary in this regard. Queensland provided the challenge of heat and humidity that the theorists of modernism expected would be a scientific rationale from which regional variations of the movement would grow as Western progressive architecture was taken up in the developing world. But Queensland was a relatively wealthy society with a sophisticated architectural culture and a well established discourse on the climatic determination of building form that had already given it a distinct regional identity. Hot Modernism is a thematic history that traces the conflicts and felicities that occurred as international modernism met a strongly developed regional cultural identity.In nine essays written by a group of international scholars and organised into four thematic sections (Foundations: Modernism and its Critique; Influences; People, Firms & Networks and Building Programmes), Hot Modernism highlights the foundation and growth of modern architecture in Queensland, as well as issues that are common to post-war architecture internationally, such as urban form and transport, art and education, civic pride and the rediscovery of history. The regional flowerings of mid-twentieth century modernism in Europe and the Americas have in recent years been meticulously dissected and widely published, and Hot Modernism contributes to the emerging understanding that modernism, despite its internationalism, was not a monolithic cultural movement, nor one that can be understood at a national level. The vastness of the Australian continent, along with its rich climatic, geographic and cultural diversity, necessitates a more nuanced, place-based approach. Hot Modernism zooms into this finer grain as it investigates and expounds the idiosyncratic, regional building practice that emerged in Queensland in the decades following the Second World War. Based on substantial oral history and archival research, this publication offers engaging first-hand accounts and vivid illustrations of significant buildings and their under-acknowledged designers.
Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright may be the Midwest's (and the nation's) most famous architects, but the region has always been a fertile ground for builders master and amateur. Midwest Architecture Journeys takes readers on a trip to visit some of the region's most inventive buildings by architects such as Bertrand Goldberg, Bruce Goff, and Lillian Leenhouts. It also includes stops at less obvious but equally daring and defining sites, such as indigenous mounds, grain silos, parking lots, flea markets, and abandoned warehouses. Through dozens of essays written by architects, critics, and journalists, Midwest Architecture Journeys argues that what might seem flat is actually monumental, and what we assume to be boring is brimming with experimentation.
The international residential, commercial, and institutional work that positioned this New York firm among the world's architectural elite is featured in this volume, which takes an unprecedented look at Gwathmey Siegel's contributions over the last 35 years. More than 30 projects are documented in photographs, drawings, and descriptions. From Charles Gwathmey's design and construction of Gwathmey Studio and House to the Levitt Center for University Advancement at the University of Iowa, this is the most complete survey of the firm's work published. It reveals the Gwathmey Siegel design philosophy and certifies why their work, along with that of Frank Gehry, Robert Stern, and Richard Meier, is the most powerful in American architecture.