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on 26 February 2002
In covering well-trodden ground, William Curtis still manages to shed new light on the subject of Modern Architecture. Much has been written over the years, including Sigfried Giedion's seminal work, Space Time and Architecture, which sought to give Modern Architecture its proper perspective. Mr. Curtis seems greatly beholden to Giedion, especially in his interpretations of Le Corbusier, which comprise a sizeable chunk of this volume. Mr. Curtis downplays the polemics and focuses more on the individual contributions of an incredibly broad range of architects from the early 19th century to the present day.
Wonderful chapters encapsulate the various movements such as his piece on the Revolutionary Architecture of Russia, and how these ideas filtered through the various European architectural movements. He also covers the diaspora of Russian avant-garde architects, in subsequent chapters, to Germany, England, Israel and the United States and the tremendous impact they had in these countries.
However, the main focus is the way in which Modern architecture was constantly being reshaped into a regional architecture, highlighting such major figures as Alvar Aalto, Luis Barrigan, and Oscar Niemeyer, all of whom owed some debt to Le Corbusier.
This is a very even-handed account, perhaps too even-handed at times. It is a most valuable resource for anyone interesting in Modern architecture and the many forms and variations that it has taken over the 20th century.
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on 27 December 2013
I've read a lot of these chapters thoroughly for my architectural course. I find the narrative can often be quite dense, and perhaps not as direct as I would have liked. It does however have great visuals to aid the descriptions which helps a lot when I've got a whole day of reading ahead of me!
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on 30 July 1998
This is the 3rd edition of this book, and Curtis has certainly expanded his knowledge, to encompass areas of the world not covered in previous editions. In all fairness this is a useful primer for undergraduate students (though one is fearful that they will cling to Curtis's stereotypes), and the book is worth buying just for the chapters on Le Corbusier alone - Curtis being without doubt a major authority on Le Corbusier. But most of the other chapters are very thin and stero-typed. Curtis says that great architecture is felt with the heart, which is why he needs to see every building he writes about - a very fair and worthy comment - and yet he more or less reproduces received history, and clings to stereotypes; German Nazi architecture, for instance, is seen as very bad - even though of course one can only inspect them via photographs, as they were destroyed in the 2nd WW, BECAUSE they were Nazis. I have a particular interest in Finnish architecture, and was amazed t! o see that he has gotten one of the key names completely wrong! He writes about the constructivist architecture of Vormala, when in fact Vormala was not a constructivist; the person he really means is Vormala's former partner Heikki Kairamo!
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on 12 April 2014
I just started reading it but seems to be very complete. Then it's written by Curtis he exposes very well the content and he shows very details of the architecture movements.
It has been very helpful in my thesis and it will be very interesting after that to learn more about the pre modernism movements and architects.
It has arrived in excellent conditions.
Recommend it because it gives you a wide look to modern architecture
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on 17 October 2014
The perfect book for any art historian or architect.
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on 17 November 2015
The cover is different but the book is still great.
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on 30 November 2014
Excellent product just what I was looking for.
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on 19 March 2010
Comprehensive, enjoyable book for those who want to learn about modern architecture. Faitly easy to read for foreigners as there are not too many technical terms.
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on 12 March 1999
A good price for a book that all architecture students should have.
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on 3 November 2014
great book, great delivery
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