NorCalMod: Icons of Northern California Modernist Architecture

Overview

Many people think modernist architecture never flowered in California north of the San Fernando Valley. NorCalMod dispels that notion in a copiously illustrated history showcasing extraordinary examples of its proud contribution to the Bay Area and environs. As a style, modernist architecture was hotly debated in its day (why create modern structures where such distinctive Victorian and Arts and Crafts buildings already existed?) pulling heavyweights such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Lewis Mumford, and Walter Gropius ...

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Overview

Many people think modernist architecture never flowered in California north of the San Fernando Valley. NorCalMod dispels that notion in a copiously illustrated history showcasing extraordinary examples of its proud contribution to the Bay Area and environs. As a style, modernist architecture was hotly debated in its day (why create modern structures where such distinctive Victorian and Arts and Crafts buildings already existed?) pulling heavyweights such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Lewis Mumford, and Walter Gropius into the fray. Ultimately, that existing "Bay Region Style" would remain the area's architectural hallmark, but not before hundreds of important modernist projects, many still standing yet unjustly neglected today, had been established. The remarkable photos in this book open our eyes to a long-lost chapter in the history of California architecture and make NorCalMod a volume to be enjoyed by those interested in California history and style as well as by architecture students and professionals.

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Editorial Reviews

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It all began with a sentence tucked near the end of a 1947 New Yorker article: "I look for the continuous spread, to every part of our country, of that native and human form of modernism which one might call the Bay Region style, a free yet unobstructed expression of the terrain, the climate, and the way of life on the coast." Lewis Mumford's sinuous words became both a banner and call to battle for architects worldwide. Before the war over Northern California Modernism was over, Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and other heavyweights had added their two cents. According to architect-author Pierluigi Serraino, this design war caused the public to dismiss or neglect hundreds of important modernist projects around the Bay Area. NorCalMod retrieves a lost chapter in architectural history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811843539
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC
  • Publication date: 8/3/2006
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Pierluigi Serraino is an architect, theorist, and writer. Trained in Rome and California, he is the author of several books, including Modernism Rediscovered . He lives in Berkeley, California.

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