Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume 1

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New York Review of Books, 2007 - Architecture - 323 pages
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Everyone knows what modern architecture looks like, but few understand how this revolutionary new form of building emerged little more than a century ago or what its aesthetic, social, even spiritual aspirations were. Through illuminating studies of the leading men and women who forever changed our built environment, veteran architecture critic Martin Filler offers fresh insights into this unprecedented cultural transformation. From Louis Sullivan, father of the skyscraper, to Frank Gehry, magician of post-millennial museum, Filler emphasizes how their force of personality has had a decisive effect on everything from how we inhabit our homes to how we shape our cities.

Why was the sudden shift in architectural fashion that wrecked the career of the Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh not enough to destroy the indomitable spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright, who rose from adversity to become America’s greatest architect? Why was Philip Johnson, “dean of American architecture” during the 1980s, so haunted by the superior talent of this less-fortunate contemporary Louis Kahn that he could barely utter his name even at the peak of his own success? How did Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s dictum “Less is more” give way to Robert Venturi’s “Less is a bore”?

Surveying such current urban design sagas as the reconstruction of Ground Zero and the reunification of Berlin, Filler also trains his sharp eye on some of the biggest names in architecture today, puncturing more than one overinflated reputation while identifying the true masters who are now building for the ages.
 

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Makers of Modern Architecture: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry (New York Review Books)

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Most of these 17 short essays by Filler (architecture critic,House & Garden ) originally appeared in theNew York Review of Books ; some have been expanded and updated. They touch on aspects of the ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION XIW 1 Louis Sullivan
1
z Frank Lloyd Wright
19
Charles Rennie Mackintosh 3 7
37
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
49
Le Corbusier
69
Alvar Aalto
91
Charles and Ray Eames
117
Louis Kahn
119
Frank Gehry
169
Richard Meier
189
Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti
207
Norman Foster
225
Renzo Piano
243
Daniel Libeskind David Childs
263
Santiago Calatrava
283
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS
299

Philip Johnson
133
Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown
149

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About the author (2007)

Martin Filler was born in 1948 and received degrees in Art History from Columbia. His writings have been published in more than thirty journals, magazines, and newspapers in the US, Europe, and Japan. Since 1985 his essays on modern architecture have appeared in The New York Review of Books, and he is now architecture critic of House & Garden. Filler was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. He and his wife, the architectural historian Rosemarie Haag Bletter, were guest curators for the Whitney Museum exhibition “High Styles: Twentieth Century American Design” (1985), and wrote the documentary film Beyond Utopia: Changing Attitudes in American Architecture (1983). They live in New York and Southampton, and have one son, Nathaniel.

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