A Critic Writes (Google eBook)

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University of California Press, Dec 28, 1996 - Architecture - 366 pages
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Few twentieth-century writers on architecture and design have enjoyed the renown of Reyner Banham. Born and trained in England and a U.S. resident starting in 1976, Banham wrote incisively about American and European buildings and culture. Now readers can enjoy a chronological cross-section of essays, polemics, and reviews drawn from more than three decades of Banham's writings. The volume, which includes discussions of Italian Futurism, Adolf Loos, Paul Scheerbart, and the Bauhaus as well as explorations of contemporary architecture by Frank Gehry, James Stirling, and Norman Foster, conveys the full range of Banham's belief in industrial and technological development as the motor of architectural evolution. Banham's interests and passions ranged from architecture and the culture of pop art to urban and industrial design. In brilliant analyses of automobile styling, mobile homes, science fiction films, and the American predilection for gadgets, he anticipated many of the preoccupations of contemporary cultural studies. Los Angeles, the city that Banham commemorated in a book and a film, receives extensive attention in essays on the Santa Monica Pier, the Getty Museum, Forest Lawn cemetery, and the ubiquitous freeway system. Eminently readable, provocative, and entertaining, this book is certain to consolidate Banham's reputation among architects and students of contemporary culture. For those acquainted with his writing, it offers welcome surprises as well as familiar delights. For those encountering Banham for the first time, it comprises the perfect introduction.
  

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A critic writes: essays by Reyner Banham

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A leading British architectural critic, Banham wrote for architectural journals as well as more popular media. The more than 50 essays in this collection derive from Banham's 35-year career, from 1955 ... Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
ix
Foreword
xi
Vehicles of Desire
3
The New Brutalism
7
Ornament and Crime The Decisive Contribution of Adolf Loos
16
Ungrab That Gondola
24
Machine Aesthetes
26
Unesco House
29
The Master Builders
166
Rank Values
175
Paleface Trash
180
Power Plank
184
Iron Bridge Embalmed
188
Sundae Painters
192
Bricologues a la Lanterne
196
Lair of the Looter
200

The Glass Paradise
32
Primitives of a Mechanized Art
39
1960Stocktaking
49
Alienation of Parts
64
Design by Choice
67
Carbonorific
79
Big Doug Small Piece
82
Old Number One
84
Kent and Capability
87
The Dymaxicrat
91
The Style for the Job
96
How I Learnt to Live with the Norwich Union
100
Peoples Palaces
105
The Great Gizmo
109
Aviary London Zoological Gardens
119
Unlovable at Any Speed
122
Roadscape with Rusting Rails
124
History Faculty Cambridge
129
The Wilderness Years of Frank Lloyd Wright
137
Power of Trent and Aire
151
The Crisp at the Crossroads
157
The Historian on the Pier
161
Valley of the Dams
203
Grass Above Glass Around
208
Summa Galactica
212
Pevsners Progress
216
Taking It With You
223
Hotel Dejaquoi?
227
Valentino Simply Filed Away
231
The Haunted Highway
237
Dead on the Fault
242
O Bright Star
246
Stirling Escapes the Hobbits
251
Fiat The Phantom of Order
256
Modern Monuments
261
Building Inside Out
265
In the Neighborhood of Art
270
On the Wings of Wonder
276
Actual Monuments
281
A Black Box The Secret Profession of Architecture
292
Bibliography
301
Index
341
Copyright

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Page 10 - Water and electricity do not come out of unexplained holes in the wall, but are delivered to the point of use by visible pipes and manifest conduits. One can see what Hunstanton is made of, and how it works, and there is not another thing to see except the play of spaces. This ruthless adherence to one of the basic moral imperatives of the...

References to this book

What is Architecture?
Andrew Ballantyne
No preview available - 2002

About the author (1996)

Reyner Banham(1922-1988) was Sheldon H. Solow Professor of the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His many books includeLos Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies(1973),Theory and Design in the First Machine Age(1980), andA Concrete Atlantis: U.S. Industrial Building and European Modern Architecture(1986).Mary Banhamis an artist, editor, and curator who collaborated with her husband on his books and articles.Paul Barker, for many years editor ofNew Society, writes and broadcasts on social, environmental, and cultural issues.Sutherland Lyall, Literary Advisor to the Banham estate, has written seven books on architecture, design, and building.Cedric Priceis an internationally acclaimed architect. The editors currently live in London.

Reyner Banham (1922-1988) was Sheldon H. Solow Professor of the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His many books include "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1973), "Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1980), and "A Concrete Atlantis: U.S. Industrial Building and European Modern Architecture (1986). Mary Banham is an artist, editor, and curator who collaborated with her husband on his books and articles. Paul Barker, for many years editor of "New Society, writes and broadcasts on social, environmental, and cultural issues. Sutherland Lyall, Literary Advisor to the Banham estate, has written seven books on architecture, design, and building. Cedric Price is an internationally acclaimed architect. The editors currently live in London.

Sutherland Lyall is a freelance writer.

Paul Barker lives in the famous village of Pilton in Somerset, where the Glastonbury Music Festival is held. He is married to the fabulous Jasmine, a successful artist, with one beautiful daughter, two handsome step sons and various dogs and cats. Paul began writing because his wife said he spent too much time in the Jacuzzi when working away from home, and so that he could spend his time more wisely. Paul is a natural communicator with dry wit and plenty of stories to tell.

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