Modern Architecture: A Critical History

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Thames & Hudson, 2007 - Architecture - 424 pages
This acclaimed survey of modern architecture and its origins has become a classic since it first appeared in 1980. For the fourth edition Kenneth Frampton has added a major new section that explores the effects of globalization on architecture in recent years and examines the phenomenon of international celebrity architects who are increasingly active all over the world. The bibliography has been updated and expanded, making this volume more complete and indispensable than ever.

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All elevated or lowly undertakings some would argue start with curiosity, the questions presents itself like a hungry belly grumbling with a question of why, how or more appropriately “how idiotic, why?” Three chapters into “Modern Architecture,” you encounter an author who does not give much concern for Frank Lloyd Wright—and he is presented in brief thus if pages where love then its denied to Frank Lloyed Wright and maybe it is given in chapter thirteen.
This chapter is long, tedious and a most seductive rant on The Glass Chain: European Architectural Expressionism 1910-25. Some phrases that linger are--inscribed on the glass dome by Scheerbart--- “Light wants crystal, glass brings a new era and building in brick only does us harm” is literary silver on the page (Frampton 116) and inspirational to the reader. This chapter delineates the reverence for the delta from darkness to light in Modern Architecture.
Chapters are rampant and this text is the equivalent of the student bible in Art, Design and Architecture though birthed in 1980 it still has sway, gives lengthy consideration to globalization and remains a testament to Modern Architecture. A Critical History of Modern Architecture is a stupendous read and survived many clandestine sessions in my black Tony Burch tote, I strongly recommended this text.

Review: Modern Architecture: A Critical History (World of Art)

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Essential reading for architects. Read full review

About the author (2007)

Kenneth Frampton is a historian and theorist, and a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, New York. His many books include Modern Architecture: A Critical History, Le Corbusier, and Kengo Kuma: Complete Works.

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