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Modern Architecture

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Symbols, Space, and the City

The meaning of a message, says William Mitchell, depends on the context of its reception. "Shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater produces a dramatically different effect from barking the same word to a squad of soldiers with guns," he observes. In Placing Words, Mitchell looks at the ways in which urban spaces and places provide settings for communication and at how they conduct complex flows of information through the twenty-first century city.

Architecture without Architecture

In the 1960s, the architects of Britain's Archigram group and Archigram magazine turned away from conventional architecture to propose cities that move and houses worn like suits of clothes. In drawings inspired by pop art and psychedelia, architecture floated away, tethered by wires, gantries, tubes, and trucks.

Concept vs. Context vs. Content

In Event-Cities 3, Bernard Tschumi explores the complex and productive triangulation of architectural concept, context, and content. There is no architecture without a concept, an overriding idea that gives coherence and identity to a building. But there is also no architecture without context—historical, geographical, cultural—or content (what happens inside). Concept, context, and content may be in unison or purposely discordant.

Architecture after Minimalism

In Nothing Less than Literal, Mark Linder shows how minimalist art of the 1960s was infiltrated by architecture, resulting in a reconfiguration of the disciplines of both art and architecture. Linder traces the exchange of concepts and techniques between architecture and art through a reading of the work of critics Clement Greenberg, Colin Rowe, Michael Fried, and the artist-writer Robert Smithson, and then locates a recuperation of "the architecture of minimalism" in the contemporary work of John Hejduk and Frank Gehry.

Siegfried Kracauer and Modern Urban Culture

For Siegfried Kracauer, the urban ornament was not just an aspect of design; it was the medium through which city dwellers interpreted the metropolis itself. In Ornaments of the Metropolis, Henrik Reeh traces variations on the theme of the ornament in Kracauer's writings on urbanism, from his early journalism in Germany between the wars to his "sociobiography" of Jacques Offenbach in Paris. Kracauer (1889-1966), often associated with the Frankfurt School and the intellectual milieu of Walter Benjamin, is best known for his writings on cinema and the philosophy of history.

The Future of Affordable Housing
Edited by David J. Brown

Imagine affordable homes that are both well-designed and environmentally friendly, better for the families who live in them and for the planet. The HOME House Project brings such imagining closer to reality. This book chronicles a multi-year national design initiative aimed at addressing issues of design, affordability, and sustainability in housing.

The internationally acclaimed architect Rafael Moneo is known to be a courageous architect. His major works include the Houston Museum of Fine Art, Davis Art Museum at Wellesley College, the Stockholm Museum of Modern Art and Architecture, and the Potzdammer Platz Hotel in Berlin. Now Moneo will be known as a daring critic as well. In this book, he looks at eight of his contemporaries—all architects of international stature—and discusses the theoretical positions, technical innovations, and design contributions of each.

Everyone knows what the distinctive curves and lines of Frank Gehry's buildings look like. But where do they come from? Gehry has described drawing as his way of "thinking aloud"; Gehry Draws traces that thinking through 32 major projects (both built and unbuilt) with more than 500 drawings (many of which have never before been published) and more than 400 additional illustrations—providing a privileged view of the creative practice of a master architect.

The Pan Am Building and the reaction to it signaled the end of an era. Begun when the modernist aesthetic and the architectural star system ruled architectural theory and practice, the completed building became a symbol of modernism's fall from grace.

The Design and Construction of Frank O. Gehry's Stata Center at MIT

This stunning, lavishly illustrated book chronicles the entire planning and construction process of the Frank Gehry-designed Ray and Maria Stata Center at MIT. Taking us from the historical background and architectural context at MIT through the interaction of the clients' needs and the architect's vision to the choice of building materials and construction methods, Building Stata offers a uniquely detailed look at the evolution of a major work by a master architect.

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