CIAM (Congres Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne), founded in Switzerland in 1928, was an avant-garde association of architects intended to advance both modernism and internationalism in architecture. CIAM saw itself as an elite group revolutionizing architecture to serve the interests of society. Its members included some of the best-known architects of the twentieth century, such as Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Richard Neutra, but also hundreds of others who looked to it for doctrines on how to shape the urban environment in a rapidly changing world.
Karel Teige (1900-1951), one of the most important figures of avant-garde modernism of the 1920s and 1930s, influenced virtually every area of art, design, and urban thinking in his native Czechoslovakia. His Minimum Dwelling, originally published in Czech in 1932, and appearing now for the first time in English, is one of the landmark architectural books of the twentieth century.
A fundamental tenet of the historiography of modern architecture holds that cubism forged a vital link between avant-garde practices in early twentieth-century painting and architecture. This collection of essays, commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, takes a close look at that widely accepted but little scrutinized belief.
In a daring revisionist history of modern architecture, Mark Wigley opens up a new understanding of the historical avant-garde. He explores the most obvious, but least discussed, feature of modern architecture: white walls. Although the white wall exemplifies the stripping away of the decorative masquerade costumes worn by nineteenth-century buildings, Wigley argues that modern buildings are not naked. The white wall is itself a form of clothing—the newly athletic body of the building, like that of its occupants, wears a new kind of garment and these garments are meant to match.
Le Corbusier's first trip to the United States in 1935 is generally considered a failure because it produced no commissions. The experience nevertheless had a profound effect on him, both personally and professionally. Sponsored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Le Corbusier promoted his ideas through a lecture tour, exhibition, and press conferences, as well as in meetings with industrialists, housing reformers, New Deal technocrats, and editors. His lectures were watershed events that advanced the cause of European modernism.
In How Architecture Got Its Hump, Roger Connah explores the "interference" of other disciplines with and within contemporary architecture. He asks whether photography, film, drawing, philosophy, and language are merely fashionable props for architectural hallucinations or alibis for revisions of history. Or, are they a means for widening the site of architecture? Connah shows how these disciplines have not only contributed to new developments in architectural theory and practice, but have begun to insinuate new possibilities of space.
The advances made by modern Spanish architecture from the 1940s, when it lay in silence and obscurity, to the 1990s, when it received worldwide acclaim, is a dramatic story, probably the most remarkable case of postwar architectural progress in Europe. This definitive critical study of postwar Spanish architecture looks at the works, projects, trends, landmarks, architects, and engineers of the period. It is both a descriptive history and a new critical evaluation by one of Spain's most important architectural critics an historians.
Although the Bauhaus existed for a mere fourteen years and boasted fewer than 1,300 students, its influence is felt throughout the world in numerous buildings, artworks, objects, concepts, and curricula. After the Bauhaus's closing in 1933, many of its protagonists moved to the United States, where their acceptance had to be cultivated.