The Recovery of the Modern: Architectural Review 1980-1995, Key Text and Critique

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Michael Spens
Butterworth Architecture, 1996 - Architecture - 254 pages
Chart the dramatic developments in architecture in the late twentieth century with a special selection of critical writing and historical discourse drawn by Michael Spens from the issues of the Architectural Review between 1980 and 1995.

This period saw the magazine play a central role in the re-establishment of modernist theory and critique after the diffusion of the short-lived Post modernist period. History was made through the review articles of such famous authors as Sir John Summerson, P Reyner Banham, William Curtis, Kenneth Frampton, Jean Dethier, Stanford Anderson, Juhani Pallasmaa and Peter Cook. There are also major articles by Peter Davey, the instrumental Editor during this period of historic change, Peter Buchanan, Dan Cruickshank, Peter Blundell-Jones, Martin and others.
The influence of the Review had never been greater than under Davey's own editorship, and arguably the journal played a key formative role during this transition in maintaining and restoring the canon of modern architecture and the development of new ideas. Postmodernism, High-Tech design and New Modernism are all evaluated through theoretical articles and a series of key building critiques. Other topics include Regionalism, The Suburb and Pacific Rim.
Michael Spens, as Editor of the volume, provides a detailed introduction to the contents and describes the background to this achievement, and how it came about that the printed word could again become so influential at a time when criticism had become increasingly ephemeral through media pressures of a new dimension. For any detailed insight into the trends and influences affecting architecture during the past 15 years, this volume will provide academics, students, and practitioners who have weathered the storm with a compact and essential resource, fully illustrated with carefully selected referential photos and line drawings of the works described.
Twenty major building critiques and twelve theoretical texts provide a thorough review of architectural theory and design
Learn about the key issues in architecture at the end of the twentieth century
Gain a knowledge of the thoughts and beliefs of leading historians and academics which shaped the development of architecture today

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The Recovery of
House of Elements in Rustic Canyon Charles Jencks
On Appearing to be Classical William Curtis

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About the author (1996)

Michael Spens qualified as an architect at Cambridge University, and has received several design awards. He focuses on the engagement of architecture with landscape. Whilst researching Alvar Aalto, from 1993 he worked in support of a restoration programme for Aalto's Viipuri Library in Russia that involved professionals from Russia and Finland, and published "Viipuri Library 1927-1935: Alvar Aalto" (Academy Editions, 1994). Knighted by the President of Finland, in 2002 he became University Reader in Architecture at Dundee University. Other publications include "Landscape Transformed"

(Academy Editions, l996) and "Modern Landscape" (Phaidon, 2003), and he also contributes to "AD, Architectural Review, Architectural Research Quarterly" and "Topos" (Munich).

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