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.
In Event-Cities (MIT Press, 1994), Bernard Tschumi expanded his architectural concerns to address the issue of cities and their making. Event-Cities 2 continues this project through new selections from his recent architectural projects.
In A Landscape of Events, the celebrated French architect, urban planner, and philosopher Paul Virilio focuses on the cultural chaos of the 1980s and 1990s. It was a time, he writes, that reflected the "cruelty of an epoch, the hills and dales of daily life, the usual clumps of habits and commonplaces."