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.
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.
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.
This is an extremely well written book with wonderful illustrations. I think the thing I like most about this book is the fact that so many domestic properties that you wouldn't otherwise get to see are photographed here in considerable detail. A brilliant achievement and highly enjoyable read. One slight criticism is that the book was very south-east centric; partly a function of where modern movement biuldings were constructed, but also I think for want of looking becuase modern movement biuldings can be found all-over the uk. I hope the authors consider writing a second volume on the post-war expansion of british modernism.
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.
Good ,but I am a boring old architect and need full plans ,sections,elevations etc for every building.Suprising how boring alot of early modern was.Integration with the outside was generally poor.Don't know what to make of the Gwynne house.Modern Houses (ie recently built) are so much better.Meier anyone?