This book revisits the history of modernism in architecture through the legacy of one of its protagonists, Armenian architect Gabriel Guevrekian (c. 1900–70). Born in Istanbul, Guevrekian grew up in Tehran and then moved to Vienna to study architecture at the Kunstgewerbeschule; he later worked with Oskar Strnad, Josef Hoffmann, Adolf Loos, Henri Sauvage and Robert Mallet-Stevens.
Among Guevrekian’s famous designs are the Cubist Garden for Villa Noailles in France and two houses for the Vienna Werkbund exhibition. Before he turned 30, Guevrekian was recognized as one of the protagonists of the European avant-garde in Paris. During the 1930s, Guevrekian spent a few years in Iran designing public buildings. Later, after the World War II, he took up teaching positions in Europe and America.
All of Guevrekian’s various pursuits, and the homes and nationalities he held in Asia, Europe and then America, led the architect to a serial adoption of personae. Guevrekian was an architect, an avant-gardist and a cosmopolitan. He made every discipline meaningful, every city central, every period epochal, simply by his own very tangible engagement with it.