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by James Steele
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0714840971, Paperback)This lushly illustrated, 500-page compendium is indispensable for any student of architecture, and many professional architects should find it a handy, although heavy, reference guide. James Steele covers the world of contemporary architecture with style, insight, historical perspective, and--perhaps most helpful--a powerful sense of organization. In his capable hands, a vast amount of information falls neatly into place under sixteen chapter headings: The Modernist Legacy, European Rationalism, High Tech, Minimalism, The Classical Revival, Post-Modernism, Deconstructivism, Contemporary Vernacular, The New Expressionists, Ecological Architecture, The New Moderns, Populist Architecture, Megastructures, The Los Angeles Avant-Garde, Experimentation in Japan, and World Cities. The balanced text is multi-faceted. Steele can list the sources of Post-Modernist architecture (correcting the popular view that the movement was an attempt to do away with Modernism) or suggestively draw a correspondence between the roofscape of Gustav Peichl's Federal Art Gallery in Bonn and the use of nature in David Lynch's film Blue Velvet.
As with so many architecture books from Phaidon Press, the picture editors and book designers have carefully matched the photographs to the text, and have given precisely the right kind of caption information for each one. The back of the book includes brief architect's biographies, chapter notes, a lengthy bibliography, and a chronology from 1945 to 1997. This beautifully produced book is a one-volume course on postwar architecture and the social and political milieu in which it exists. --Peggy Moorman
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:48 -0400)
This book is an attempt to make sense of the pluralistic nature of contemporary architecture, by offering an incisive yet accessible critique of the world's most prominent architectural movements and trends. Free of the jargon that all too frequently characterizes some of the contemporary writing on architecture, Architecture Today briefly examines the background to the architecture of the latter half of the century, and explores contemporary styles and movements theme by theme. The work of architects from all over the world is analysed, and their most original, influential and challenging works are illustrated, indicating the radical changes that have occurred in architecture in the last forty years. Architecture Today's accessible tone will make this book essential reading for all those who are interested in architecture, in the visual arts and in contemporary culture.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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