Most histories of American architecture after H. H. Richardson have emphasized the work of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in the Middle West. By examining instead the legacy of three highly successful architects who were in practice simultaneously in New England and Western Pennsylvania from 1886 into the 1920s, Margaret Henderson Floyd underscores the architectural significance of another part of the nation.
Floyd critically' assesses the careers, works, and patronage of Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Frank Ellis Alden, and Alfred Branch Harlow. Longfellow and Alden were senior draftsmen in H. H. Richardson's office, and Harlow worked with McKim, Mead & White in New York, Newport, and Boston. After Richardson's death, the three set up their own practice with offices in Boston and Pittsburgh, and these offices eventually became two separate practices. Over the years, their commissions included scores of city and country residences for the elite of both regions as well as major institutional and business buildings such as those at Harvard and Radcliffe, the Cambridge City Hall, and Pittsburgh's Duquesne Club and Carnegie Institute.
Placing these architects in a broader context of American architectural and landscape history, Floyd uncovers a strong cultural affinity between turn-of-the-century Boston and Pittsburgh. She also reveals an unsuspected link between the path of modernism from Richardson to Wright and the evolution of anti-modern imagery manifested in regionalism. Floyd thus combines her analysis of the work of Longfellow, Alden, and Harlow with a critique of mid-twentieth-century historiography to expose connections between New England regionalism, the arts and crafts movement, and such innovators as Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller.
The September 11 terrorist attacks targeted, in Osama bin Laden’s words, “America’s icons of military and economic power.” In The Architecture of Aftermath, Terry Smith argues that it was no accident that these targets were buildings: architecture has long served as a symbol of proud, defiant power—and never more so than in the late twentieth century.
But after September 11, Smith asserts, late modern architecture suddenly seemed an indulgence. With close readings of key buildings—including Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House, Minoru Yamasaki’s World Trade Center, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and Richard Meier’s Getty Center—Smith traces the growth of the spectacular architecture of modernity and then charts its aftermath in the conditions of contemporaneity. Indeed, Smith focuses on the very culture of aftermath itself, exploring how global politics, clashing cultures, and symbolic warfare have changed the way we experience destination architecture.
Like other artists everywhere, architects are responding to the idea of aftermath by questioning the viability of their forms and the validity of their purposes. With his richly illustrated The Architecture of Aftermath, Smith has done so as well.
In the 1960s and ’70s, architects, influenced by recent developments in computing and the rise of structuralist and poststructuralist thinking, began to radically rethink how architecture could be created. Though various new approaches gained favor, they had one thing in common: they advocated moving away from the traditional reliance on an individual architect’s knowledge and instincts and toward the use of external tools and processes that were considered objective, logical, or natural. Automatic architecture was born.
The quixotic attempts to formulate such design processes extended modernist principles and tried to draw architecture closer to mathematics and the sciences. By focusing on design methods, and by examining evidence at a range of scales—from institutions to individual buildings—Automatic Architecture offers an alternative to narratives of this period that have presented postmodernism as a question of style, as the methods and techniques traced here have been more deeply consequential than the many stylistic shifts of the past half century. Sean Keller closes the book with an analysis of the contemporary condition, suggesting future paths for architectural practice that work through, but also beyond, the merely automatic.
The story of modernism in architecture is international, yet each country adopted the movement in its own unique way, inspired by individual artists and schools and in response to specific social needs and political pressures. Britain explores the British approach to modern architecture, and, with due regard for the separate identities of England, Scotland, and Wales, discusses British modernism from its beginnings to the present day.
Alan Powers gives equal weight to the technical and aesthetic aspects of modernism, as well as its often controversial reception within Britain and around the world. He examines the works of key British architects and delves into the influence of non-British architects within the United Kingdom. Powers then turns his attention to postmodern architecture as a global movement, looking at contemporary efforts to make architecture sustainable and adaptable to the new challenges of urban life.
Thoroughly illustrated with images of the buildings under discussion, advertisements, and other historical photographs, Britain is an authoritative, yet highly accessible, account of twentieth-century British architecture.
Long recognized as a Chicago landmark, the Carson Pirie Scott Building also represents a milestone in the development of architecture. The last large commercial structure designed by Louis Sullivan, the Carson building reflected the culmination of the famed architect's career as a creator of tall steel buildings. In this study, Joseph Siry traces the origins of the building's design and analyzes its role in commercial, urban, and architectural history.
Since its opening in the 1920s, Chicago's North Michigan Avenue has been one of the city's most prestigious commerical corridors, lined by some of its most architecturally distinctive business, residential, and hotel buildings. Planned by Daniel Burnham in 1909, the avenue became the principal connecting link between downtown and the wealthy, residential "Gold Coast" north of the Loop. Some thirty buildings were constructed along its path in the ten-year period before the Depression, an urban expansion comparable in significance to that of Pennsylvania and Park Avenues.
John W. Stamper traces the complex development of North Michigan Avenue from the 1880s to the 1920s building boom that solidified its character and economic base, describing the initiation of the planning process by private interests to its execution aided by the city's powerful condemnation and taxation proceedings. He focuses on individual buildings constructed on the avenue, including the Renaissance- and Gothic-inspired Wrigley Building, Tribune Tower, and Drake Hotel, and places them within the context of factors governing their construction—property ownership, financing, zoning laws, design theory, and advertising.
Stamper compares this stylistically diverse mixture of low- and high-rise structures with earlier, rejected planning proposals, all of which had prescribed a uniformly designed, European-like avenue of continuous cornice heights, consistent facade widths, and complementary stylistic features. He analyzes the drastically different character the avenue took by 1930, with high-rise towers reaching thirty stories and beyond, in terms of the clash among economic, political, and architectural interests. His argument—that the discrepancies between the rejected plans and reality illustrate the developers' choice of economic return on their investment over aesthetic community—is extended through to the present avenue and the virtual disregard of the urban qualities proposed at its inception. Generously illustrated, with an epilogue condensing the avenue's history between the end of World War II and the present, this is an exhaustive account of an important topic in the history of modern architecture and city planning.
A cultural icon who defined the twentieth-century American landscape, Frank Lloyd Wright has been studied from what seems to be every possible angle. While many books focus on his works, torrid personal life, or both, few solely consider his professional persona, as a man enmeshed in a web of prominent public figures and political ideas. In this new biography, Robert McCarter distills Wright’s life and work into a concise account that explores the beliefs and relationships so powerfully reflected in his architectural works.
McCarter examines here how Wright aspired to influence America’s evolving democratic society by the challenges his buildings posed to traditional views of private and public space. He investigates Wright’s relationships with key leaders of art, industry, and society, and how their views came to have concrete significance in Wright’s work and writings. Wright argued that architecture should be the “background or framework” for daily life, not the “object,” and McCarter dissects how and why he aspired to this and other ideals, such as his belief in the ethical duty of architects to improve society and culture.
A penetrating study of the foremost pioneer in modern architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright offers a fascinating biographical chronicle that reveals the principles and relationships at the base of Wright’s production.
This timely volume brings together case studies that address the urgent need to manage energy use and improve thermal comfort in modern buildings while preserving their historic significance and character.
This collection of ten case studies addresses the issues surrounding the improvement of energy consumption and thermal comfort in modern buildings built between 1928 and 1969 and offers valuable lessons for other structures facing similar issues. These buildings, international in scope and diverse in type, style, and size, range from the Shulman House, a small residence in Los Angeles, to the TD Bank Tower, a skyscraper complex in Toronto, and from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, a cultural venue in Lisbon, to the Van Nelle Factory in Rotterdam, now an office building. Showing ingenuity and sensitivity, the case studies consider improvements to such systems as heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation, and controls. They provide examples that demonstrate best practices in conservation and show ways to reduce carbon footprints, minimize impacts to historic materials and features, and introduce renewable energy sources, in compliance with energy codes and green-building rating systems.
The Conserving Modern Heritage series, launched in 2019, is written by architects, engineers, conservators, scholars, and allied professionals. The books in this series provide well-vetted case studies that address the challenges of conserving twentieth-century heritage.
In the first decades of the twentieth century, Marseille was a booming Mediterranean port. Positioned at the very edge of France, the city functioned as a critical fulcrum between the metropolitan center and its overseas empire. A notoriously dangerous and cosmopolitan city, Marseille became the focus of the extraordinary energies of some of the most remarkable architects and theorists of urban modernity.
Drawing together a cast of both world-renowned and less familiar architects, photographers, and cultural theorists, including Le Corbusier, Sigfried Giedion, Walter Benjamin, and László Moholy-Nagy, Mediterranean Crossroads examines how mythic ideas about Marseille helped to shape its urban landscape. Tracing successive planning proposals in tandem with shifting representations of the city in photographs, film, guidebooks, and postcards, Sheila Crane reconstructs the history and politics of architecture in Marseille from the 1920s through the years of rebuilding after World War II.
By exploring how architects and planners negotiated highly localized pressures, evolving imperial visions, and transnational aspirations at the borders of Europe and the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean Crossroads brings to life a lost chapter in the history of modern architecture.
Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography is a major rewriting and expansion of Franz Schulze’s acclaimed 1985 biography, the first full treatment of the master German-American modern architect. Coauthored with architect Edward Windhorst, this revised edition, three times the length of the original text, features extensive new research and commentary and draws on the best recent work of American and German scholars. The authors’ major new discoveries include the massive transcript of the early-1950s Farnsworth House court case, which discloses for the first time the facts about Mies’s epic battle with his client Edith Farnsworth. Giving voice to dozens of architects who knew and worked with (and sometimes against) Mies, this comprehensive biography tells the compelling story of how Mies and his students and followers created some of the most significant buildings of the twentieth century.
Mexico City became one of the centers of architectural modernism in the Americas in the first half of the twentieth century. Invigorated by insights drawn from the first published histories of Mexican colonial architecture, which suggested that Mexico possessed a distinctive architecture and culture, beginning in the 1920s a new generation of architects created profoundly visual modern buildings intended to convey Mexico’s unique cultural character. By midcentury these architects and their students had rewritten the country’s architectural history and transformed the capital into a metropolis where new buildings that evoked pre-conquest, colonial, and International Style architecture coexisted.
Through an exploration of schools, a university campus, a government ministry, a workers’ park, and houses for Diego Rivera and Luis Barragán, Kathryn O’Rourke offers a new interpretation of modern architecture in the Mexican capital, showing close links between design, evolving understandings of national architectural history, folk art, and social reform. This book demonstrates why creating a distinctively Mexican architecture captivated architects whose work was formally dissimilar, and how that concern became central to the profession.
One of the country's largest and most important postwar architectural projects, the United States Air Force Academy opened in 1958. With its spectacular natural setting and stunning Modernist design, the Academy was quickly hailed as a national landmark and attracts over a million visitors each year.
The contributors to this volume (Jory Johnson, Robert Nauman, Sheri Olson, James Russell, and Kristen Schaffer) and editor Robert Bruegmann chronicle the complex history of the planning, design, and construction of the Air Force Academy. As the most conspicuous commission of the American military at the height of the Cold War, the design of the Academy generated intense popular interest and was a lightning rod for conflicting values in postwar society. The design, by architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, has been hailed as the final triumph of the International Style and as a monument to military bureaucracy.
When Morality and Architecture was first published in 1977, it received passionate praise and equally passionate criticism. An editorial in Apollo, entitled "The Time Bomb," claimed that "it deserved to become a set book in art school and University art history departments," and the Times Literary Supplement savaged it as an example of "that kind of vindictiveness of which only Christians seem capable."
Here, for the first time, is the story of the book's impact. In writing his groundbreaking polemic, David Watkin had taken on the entire modernist establishment, tracing it back to Pugin, Viollet-le-Duc, Corbusier, and others who claimed that their chosen style had to be truthful and rational, reflecting society's needs. Any critic of this style was considered antisocial and immoral. Only covertly did the giants of the architectural establishment support the author. Watkin gives an overview of what has happened since the book's publication, arguing that many of the old fallacies still persist. This return to the attack is a revelation for anyone concerned architecture's past and future.
Morality and Architecture Revisited contains the entire text of the book Morality and Architecture , plus additonal material by David Wakin on the controversy that the the book created.
Anthony Fontenot’s staggeringly ambitious book uncovers the surprisingly libertarian heart of the most influential British and American architectural and urbanist discourses of the postwar period, expressed as a critique of central design and a support of spontaneous order. Non-Design illuminates the unexpected philosophical common ground between enemies of state support, most prominently the economist Friedrich Hayek, and numerous notable postwar architects and urbanists like Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Reyner Banham, and Jane Jacobs. These thinkers espoused a distinctive concept of "non-design,"characterized by a rejection of conscious design and an embrace of various phenomenon that emerge without intention or deliberate human guidance. This diffuse and complex body of theories discarded many of the cultural presuppositions of the time, shunning the traditions of modern design in favor of the wisdom, freedom, and self-organizing capacity of the market. Fontenot reveals the little-known commonalities between the aesthetic deregulation sought by ostensibly liberal thinkers and Hayek’s more controversial conception of state power, detailing what this unexplored affinity means for our conceptions of political liberalism. Non-Design thoroughly recasts conventional views of postwar architecture and urbanism, as well as liberal and libertarian philosophies.
Built between 1839 and 1842, the domed structure of Iowa City's Old Capitol served as the third territorial capitol and the first state capitol of Iowa. In 1857, when the state government was moved to Des Moines, Old Capitol became the first building of the new University of Iowa. It remains today the centerpiece of this handsome campus. The story of its history and restoration, told in this elegantly illustrated book, is an intriguing account of historical architectural detection.
Using primary sources, including manuscripts, vouchers, account books, newspaper stories, correspondence, and documents from the National Archives and Iowa repositories, Margaret Keyes portrays the major events of the total history of Old Capitol since its site was determined.
From sash windows and ceramic tiles to barracks and warehouses, industrialized building has thrived since the nineteenth century in Europe and America. Yet architects have neglected this area of practical construction in favor of historical, theoretical, and artistic analyses, resulting in the emergence of an influential building industry with architects on the far margins. Colin Davies explores in The Prefabricated Home how the relationship between architecture and industrialized building has now become an urgent issue for architects.
The Prefabricated Home outlines the methods and motives of prefabricated buildings and assesses their architectural implications. Davies traces the origins of the branded building phenomenon with examples ranging from the Dymaxion bathroom to IKEA's "Bo Klok" house. He also analyzes the use of industrialized buildings worldwide—including McDonald's drive-through restaurants and contrasts the aesthetic concerns of architects against the economic ones of industrialized building manufacturers. Ultimately, The Prefabricated Home proposes a partnership of architects and industrialized building that could potentially produce an exciting new type of humane and eco-conscious architecture.
Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project suggests that space can become a storyteller: if so, plenty of fleeting stories can be read in the space of modernity, where repetition and the unexpected cross-pollinate. In Space as Storyteller, Laura Chiesa explores several stories across a wide range of time that narrate spatial jumps, from Benjamin's tangential take on the cityscape, the experimentalism of Futurist theatricality, the multiple and potential atlases narrated by Italo Calvino and Georges Perec, and the posturban thought and practice of Bernard Tschumi and Rem Koolhaas/OMA. Space as Storyteller diverts attention from isolated disciplines and historical or geographical contexts toward transdisciplinary encounters that mobilize the potential to invent new spaces of comparison, a potential the author describes as "architecturability."
Richard A. Etlin explores the social and cultural hierarchies established in eighteenth-century France to illustrate how the conceptual basis of the modern house and the physical layout of the modern city emerged from debates among theoretically innovative French architects of the eighteenth-century. Examining a broad range of topics from architecture and urbanism to gardening and funerary monuments, he shows how the work of these architects was informed by considerations of symbolic space.
For Etlin, the eighteenth-century city was a place in which actual physical space was subjected to a complex mental layering of conceptual spaces. He focuses on the design theory of Boullée and Durand and charts their legacy through the architecture of Paul Philippe Cret, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Louis Kahn. He defines the distinctive features of neoclassicism and outlines the new grammar for classical architecture articulated by theorists and architects such as Laugier, Leroy, and Ledoux.
After discussing the eighteenth-century hôtel, revolutionary space, and the transformation of the image of the cemetery, Etlin examines the space of absence as embodied in commemorative architecture from Boullée and Gilly to Cret, Wright, and Terragni. His book provides an accessible introduction to a century of architecture that transformed the classical forms of the Renaissance and Baroque periods into building types still familiar today.
In Terminal Architecture, Martin Pawley argues that nearly all modern architecture is misconceived. To embrace a genuinely innovative architectural future would entail a radical shift in values and Pawley considers new vocabularies to achieve this aim. The vision described in Terminal Architecture is an apocalyptic one, spelling the end of architecture and the city as we know them, and cannot fail to stimulate debate.
"Brilliant and beautifully written"—Jonathan Glancey, The Architects' Journal
The grand palaces and princely villas of the Bavarian Wittelsbach dynasty—Nymphenburg, Schleissheim, the vast Residenzschloss in Munich, and others—impress visitors with their great halls and intimate cabinets, dramatic stairhalls and seemingly endless rows of sumptuously decorated rooms. But these dazzling residences did not exist solely to delight the eye. In The Utility of Splendor, Samuel John Klingensmith discusses how, over the years, successive rulers reshaped the internal spaces of their residences to reflect changes in the elaborate ceremony that regulated daily life at court.
Drawing on a broad range of sources, including building documents, correspondence, diaries, and court regulations, Klingensmith investigates the intricacies of Bavarian court practice and shows that Versailles was only one among several influences on German palace planning. Klingensmith offers a cogent, detailed understanding of the relations between architectural spaces and the ceremonial, social, and private life that both required and used them. Handsomely illustrated with photographs and plans, The Utility of Splendor will appeal to anyone interested in how life was lived among the nobility during the last centuries of the old regime.
Samuel John Klingensmith (1949-1986) was assistant professor of art history at Tulane University.