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Visionary Architecture: Blueprints of the Modern Imagination [Paperback]

Neil Spiller
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: £24.95
Price: £16.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 April 2007
Architects have been drawing for centuries on their creative abilities to produce astonishing works of imagination, but the greatest period of experimentation has been from the Second World War to the present. This book, newly available in paperback, is a highly acclaimed survey of the breathtakingly visionary and experimental architecture of this period. With its copious illustrations and analyses of the early, radical work of many of today's most important architects, as well as seminal work of earlier practitioners, it is a complete resource for students and professionals and the authoritative source on a subject of essential interest for all in the world of architecture.

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Visionary Architecture: Blueprints of the Modern Imagination + Drawing Architecture AD (Architectural Design) + Bartlett Designs: Speculating with Architecture
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd; Reprint edition (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500286558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500286555
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 22.9 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Any red-blooded architect or fan of architecture must get this one ... passionate ... a document of our times' --Peter Cook, The Architectural Review

'A pleasing object ... beautifully illustrated and well designed ... a poke in the eye to banal architecture' --The Architects' Journal

'A seriously cool book ... a very useful resource ... anyone who loves modern buildings will appreciate all this building has to offer'
--The Glasgow Herald

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By JT
Format:Paperback
An interesting read and view, covering a lot of ground. One criticism would be that there seems to be a large emphasis on London tutors from the Bartlett and Architectural Association, who are all excellent, but possibly not "visionary" in the way that Gaudi, Hadid etc are. The book goes from "here is the truly visionary and world famous Sagrada Familia" on one page to "here's a visionary doodle and a photo of a table with wobbly iron legs down in the 80s by yours truly, the author, Neil Spiller." A lot of London centric stuff and some of the arrogance that comes with it. The language does not always flow easily, verging on the deliberately prententious and over complex, in place of trying to really explain a point. Apart from that it's great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars hard to review, hard to read 31 July 2011
By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a hard book to review, actually it was even quite a hard book to read.

On the plus side it is a robust survey of 'visionary architecture', I am not an expert but it does seem to be impressively broad in scope, stretching back to such people as Piranesi, through Cedric Price and Archigram and onto an awful lot of people from Bartlett School of Architecture. I suspect that 'visionary architecture' means pretty much whatever you want it to mean, so inclusion or exclusion in a book of this nature is ultimately rather arbitrary. It does seem to have a distinctly Anglo Saxon bias, and a seeming preference for people who did not build much.

The writing is fairly impenetrable, though where he writes about people I like and am interested in, it seemed to make sense, where I just do not get the architect, it just seemed incredibly pretentious. Personally I would have preferred more on people like Buckminster Fuller, but in fairness I don't think there any obvious omissions. Most readers will probably come away wanting to know more about an architect that they did not formerly know about.

If you are studying architecture then this is a useful resource. For the lay reader it is by turns fascinating and wilfully obscure.

Although the subject matter would lend itself to a truly stunning book, visually it is somewhat underwhelming. Images seem to be rather randomly plonked down, it is generally unclear what they are, and why they are significant. It would be easy to be hugely irritated by the author, he is potentially hugely pretentious and self important, for example including himself in the glossary of significant contributors to visionary architecture, but on balance his enthusiasm and thoroughness won me over. That said, I don't think I'll be buying another book by him.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Consistently Rewarding 20 Nov 2008
By Gothic
Format:Hardcover
A brilliant work, for anyone keen to know more on the world of architecture beyond their immediate environment. Lavishly illustrated, concisely indexed and easily referenced; the book is set out as an ambling history of conceptual and adventurous architecture, intersposed by detailed case studies. Examples included are of living and long-deceased arhitects, breaking from (but with relevant reference to) the usual suspects of corbusier, mies, and so on.
The book is consistently rewarding becasue at first the text is a little esoteric, but in such a way as to provoke further thought in place of discouraging it. Well recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book 17 July 2011
Format:Paperback
An incredibly inspiring book, beautiful drawings and illustrations with a deep and thorough commentary. This book is fantastic!!! I have since bought this as a gift and highly recommend it.
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