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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travel back to the future in style, 28 Sep 2007
Cutting edge design which still stands up today, the Case Study project houses presented here will have you slavering with desire and staring at your own humble abode with a sudden and acute dissatisfaction. This is the first, and only, book I`ve seen which does justice to these achingly beautiful pieces of architecture. The photographs are so big you can almost fall into them and they're accompanied by schematics and plans from unrealised projects as well. Taschen's production skills with these large format special editions really pays off here and even at full RRP it is a steal. Unreservedly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Case for modern architecture, 3 Nov 2009
By 
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Case Study Houses: The Complete CSH Program 1945-1966 (Taschen 25th Anniversary Special Editions) (Hardcover)
A sumptuous visual record of this southern Californian house design program. Original published by Taschen in a jumbo edition. This reprint celebrates their twenty-fifth publishing anniversary and it's slightly smaller than the original book but still beautifully printed with English, German and French text.

Each of the thirty-six houses is covered in the same way with:
1 A short introduction by editor Smith
2 The relevant editorial copy from Arts & Architecture magazine about the house.
3 Photos, plans, diagrams and illustrations. Plenty of the photos are by the brilliant Jules Shulman.
4 Contemporary colour photos of some houses.

Some of houses only have a spread or two (the unbuilt ones) while others have several spreads, Pierre Koenig's famous Stahl House (#22) has twenty pages. I have given book only four stars because it is not as complete as it should be, the focus is really a visual history of the Study Houses and that's it! What is missing is any historical and contemporary background and surely the reason the whole project was important was the influence it had on other architects, house builders, planners, the public and manufactures.

To get a perspective you will have to get Elizabeth Smith's earlier book 'Blueprints for Modern Living' published in conjunction with an exhibition in Los Angeles in 1989-1990. As the sub-title to the book says: 'History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses'. I found this a marvelous book though there are only forty-two pages of text and photos on the actual houses the rest of the 256 pages place them in the context of Californian living and mid-fifties American architecture.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The look not the feel of Case study Houses, 20 Mar 2002
By 
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
A sumptuous 440 page visual record of this southern Californian house design program. It is a big book (at a BIG price) weighing TWELVE POUNDS and the landscape format opens up spreads thirty-four inches wide, beatifully printed with English, German and French text.

Each of the thirty-six houses is covered in the same way with:
1 A short introduction by editor Smith
2 The relevant editorial copy from Arts & Architecture magazine about the house.
3 Photos, plans, diagrams, illustrations. Lots of the photos are by the brilliant Jules Shulman and I doubt you will see them this big anywhere else.
4 Colour photos of the house today.

Some of houses only have a spread or two (the unbuilt ones) while others have several spreads, Pierre Koenig's famous Stahl House (#22) has twenty pages. I was intriqued by a photo on one of these, it shows the living room with a small table on which are the obligatory selection of magazines, two of these are 'America', the Russian language publication put out in the sixties by the US Information Agency, were these on display when the house was open to the public or did Shulman put them there just for the photo session?

I have given this glorious book only four stars because it is not as complete as it should be, the focus is very narrow, essentially a visual history of the Study Houses and that's it! What is missing is any historical and contemporary background and surely the reason the whole project was important was the influence it had on other architects, house builders, planners, the public and manufactures.

To get a perspective you will have to get Elizabeth Smith's earlier book 'Blueprints for Modern Living' published in conjunction with an exhibition in Los Angeles in 1989-1990. As the sub-title to the book says: 'History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses' I found this a marvellous book telling me every thing I wanted to know, though there are only forty-two pages of text and photos on the actual houses. It is a pity that a lot of the information in the remaining 214 pages was not included in this huge volume.

Now that I have the book, where will I put it, who makes bookcases over sixteen inches deep anyway? Maybe I'll just leave it on a table. I bet it will soon pop up in those house interior photos you see in glossy magazines where folk have piles of large art books neatly arranged on their coffee tables, the cover with its black and white diagonal design will make it very visible.
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Case Study Houses: The Complete CSH Program 1945-1966 (Taschen 25th Anniversary Special Editions)
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