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Modern: The Modern Movement in Britain [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Alan Powers , Morley Von Sternberg
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.95
Price: 14.36 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

16 Aug 2007
Modern in the most comprehensive study of Modern Movement architecture in Britain ever published. Shortlisted for the RIBA Bookshops International Book Award of 2005, this critically acclaimed publication is now available in paperback for the first time. Encyclopedic in scope and structure, it covers the work of such renowned architects as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Maxwell Fry, Erno Goldfinger, Berthold Lubetkin and others who changed the vocabulary of architecture in Britain between the wars. Specially commissioned photographs document all the major surviving buildings, from private houses and apartment blocks to schools and factories.

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Modern: The Modern Movement in Britain + Brutalism: Post-War British Architecture
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Merrell Publishers Ltd; illustrated edition edition (16 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858944058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858944050
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 24.3 x 28 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Innovative, hugely informative and bursting with life, this is a must-have book for any fan of the Modern Movement. --Grand Designs Magazine, July 2005

About the Author

Alan Powers, one of the UK's leading architectural historians, has published widely on all aspects of the twentieth-century architecture and design. He teaches at the University of Greenwich, London. Morley Von Sternberg is recognized as one of today's leading architectural photographers. His other books include Berthold Lubetkin (Merrell, 2002).

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starting point for enthusiasts 30 Oct 2006
By Steve
The British we're never as receptive to Modernist architecture as many of our continental neighbours and the U.S., and the movement was largely ignored through the 1920s. Perhaps this explains why it can be quite difficult for an enthusiast like me to find a decent book on the subject, but this one does not disappoint. There is brief coverage of the history of the movement but the bulk of the book concentrates on selected buildings throughout the country, including work by such luminaries as Walter Gropius, Marcel Breur, Berthold Lubetkin and Wells Coates.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book comes not in the coverage of these well-known modernists, and famous buildings such as Highpoint and the Lawn Rd flats, but in the relatively unknown architectural gems it uncovers (including many private residences) and the lesser-known British architects and practices of the era.

There is also an excellent selection of photos for each building, most commissioned expecially.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medieval Modernism 11 Oct 2007
What really made this book sparkle for me were the wonderful contemporary photos of the houses by Morley von Sternberg. The (mostly) dazzling white of so many of these properties set against greenery and a blue sky makes them look quite remarkable.

Throughout the book the up-to-date photos seamlessly blend in with period images, floor plans and Alan Powers excellent text. His introduction is a concise overview of 1930 to 1940 Modernism in Britain and then the bulk of the book is a comprehensive listing of the architects who designed these fascinating buildings. The majority are homes with commercial and public buildings making up the total. Each architect, or practice, has some general text then long captions to each of their buildings. Nicely, someone had the bright idea of putting all the historic reference notes about each house with the relevant architect so no flipping backwards and forwards to back pages.

Not every existing Modern building in Britain is covered but surely the relevant ones are included here. Buildings no longer standing get a mention like Pleydell-Bouverie's wing shaped Ramsgate aerodrome or Emberton's Blackpool Fun House. Another book: 'The Modern House Today' (ISBN 1901033724) by Nick Dawe and Kenneth Powell has much photo duplication with Powers book but has some other homes displayed with the same dazzling style photography.

'Modern' is well printed (175dpi) with Karen Wilks doing a beautiful design job and with Alan Powers fine text the short-lived Modern movement in Britain gets a reference book it deserves.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction to Modernism in Britain 30 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a complete guide of all the Modernist buildings in Britain but an introduction to the concept of the Modern movement and has a collection of over 40 significant buildings and their stories.

The book is printed in high quality paper with very good BW and colour pictures.

There is an extensive reference guide in the back of the book for further reading.

It contains many blue prints and photographs of building that might be helpful to people involved in restoration and extension projects.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully illustrated 30 April 2012
I'm a general reader, not completely au fait with architectural terms, and in the past have found books on architecture somewhat impenetrable.
But not this one. The photographs are stunningly beautiful and, as other reviewers have remarked, it is fascinating to see so many private houses covered as well as famous large scale projects.
This had me sighing over desirable properties ... and googling estate agents/holiday lets that specialise in Modern homes.
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