Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II: From Le Corbusier to Rem Koolhaas

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Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II: From Le Corbusier to Rem Koolhaas

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Editorial Reviews

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Reviewers of the first volume of Martin Filler's Maker of Modern Architecture predicted that it would eclipse other books in the field and compared it to a Vasari's Lives for architects. The second volume, a full six years in preparation, continues Filler's explorations with nineteen essays that cover not only the lives and works of seminal architects, but also aesthetic continuities and disjunctions; and the social and economic implications of their work.

Publishers Weekly
In this superb follow-up to his first volume of essays on modern building’s pioneers and major designers, architecture critic Filler (formerly at House & Garden, now a contributor to the New York Review of Books, where these 19 essays first appeared) brings his expertise to bear on architects who have been neglected (Carlo Scarpa), those who have fallen out of critical favor (Edward Durell Stone), and others whose standing has been debated (Eero Saarinen), while deftly evaluating the work of contemporaries such as Bernard Tschumi and Snøhetta. The recurrent theme is personality and how it plays into the art form: Rem Koolhaas’s “morally neutral attitude,” for instance, as embodied by his controversial CCTV building in Beijing, which Filler faults for its “unconscionable destruction” of nearby landmarks and its chilling aloofness. Similarly, he suggests that James Stirling’s “abundant architectural gifts” were thwarted by his irascible disposition. A highlight of the collection is Filler’s deeply moving essay in support of Michael Arad’s National September 11 Memorial—an unforgettable piece of writing that cuts through the media babel that surrounded the memorial’s unveiling. Always a strong believer in public buildings’ “direct social implications,” Filler could be called the presumptive conscience of the architect; and his contribution to both architecture criticism and general readers’ understanding is invaluable. 8 pages of photos. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"In this superb follow-up to his first volume of essays on modern building’s pioneers and major designers, architecture critic Filler brings his expertise to bear on architects who have been neglected (Carlo Scarpa), those who have fallen out of critical favor (Edward Durell Stone), and others whose standing has been debated (Eero Saarinen), while deftly evaluating the work of contemporaries such as Bernard Tschumi and Snøhetta…. A highlight of the collection is Filler’s deeply moving essay in support of Michael Arad’s National September 11 Memorial—an unforgettable piece of writing that cuts through the media babel that surrounded the memorial’s unveiling….his contribution to both architecture criticism and general readers’ understanding is invaluable." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Filler writes amazing descriptions of buildings with an ability to maneuver through space with words like a very good perspective drawing: clear, articulate, and very often inspired…Filler’s discussions on the method and orchestration of buildings are superb, as is his ability to cite sources and the derivation of architects’ work….This brand of criticism is elegant and worldly….” —Oculus, The Center for Architecture

Praise for Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume I:
 
  “Filler’s assessments in The New York Review stand apart, eschewing fashion and offering polished, carefully edited and backed-up, though highly personal, assertions.... Filler’s razor-sharp mind and sharper tongue set him apart. We gobble up what he thinks, as well as how he serves it up.” —Robert Ivy, Architectural Record
 
“Martin Filler’s book is liberating.... For those seeking a brilliant if potted guide to modern architecture, Filler fits the bill. His book bristles with bracing insights, incisive judgments, and wicked lines.” —Robert Zaretsky, Houston Chronicle
 
“Martin Filler’s writing demonstrates his lucidity and independence of mind.... Filler is an elegant writer, clearly committed to thinking about his subjects, and working hard to engage his audience. He seeks to place architecture in a wider cultural context rather than leave it trapped in the self-regarding discourse of criticism. He is not afraid to express his opinions.” —Deyan Sudjic, The Architect’s Newspaper

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590176887
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 8/20/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 775,102
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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