ABOUT THIS BOOK
Everyone knows Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the chateaux of the Loire Valley, but French architects have also produced some of the most iconic buildings of the twentieth century, playing a central role in the emergence and development of modernism. In France, Jean-Louis Cohen presents a complete narrative of the unfolding architectural modernity in the country, grappling not only with the buildings but also with the political and critical context surrounding them.
Cohen examines the developments in urban design and architecture within France, depicting the continuities and breaks in French architecture since 1900 against a broader international background. Describing the systems of architectural exchange with other countries—including Italy, Germany, Russia, and the United States—he offers a new view on the ideas, projects, and buildings otherwise so often considered only from narrow nationalistic perspectives. Cohen also maps the problematic search for a national identity against the background of European rivalries and France’s colonial past. Drawing on a wealth of recent research, this authoritatively written book will challenge the way design professionals and historians view modern French architecture.