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University of Minnesota Press
Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture

Mediterranean Crossroads: Marseille and Modern Architecture

by University Of Minnesota Press
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In the first decades of the twentieth century, Marseille was a booming Mediterranean port. Positioned at the very edge of France, the city functioned as a critical fulcrum between the metropolitan center and its overseas empire. A notoriously dangerous and cosmopolitan city, Marseille became the focus of the extraordinary energies of some of the most remarkable architects and theorists of urban modernity.

Drawing together a cast of both world-renowned and less familiar architects, photographers, and cultural theorists, including Le Corbusier, Sigfried Giedion, Walter Benjamin, and László Moholy-Nagy, Mediterranean Crossroads examines how mythic ideas about Marseille helped to shape its urban landscape. Tracing successive planning proposals in tandem with shifting representations of the city in photographs, film, guidebooks, and postcards, Sheila Crane reconstructs the history and politics of architecture in Marseille from the 1920s through the years of rebuilding after World War II.

By exploring how architects and planners negotiated highly localized pressures, evolving imperial visions, and transnational aspirations at the borders of Europe and the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean Crossroads brings to life a lost chapter in the history of modern architecture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816653621
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publication date: 04/12/2011
Pages: 376
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Sheila Crane is assistant professor of architectural history at the University of Virginia.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Marseille’s Absent Presence in Modern Architecture
1. The View from the Bridge: Photography, Planning, and Urban Physiognomy
2. The City in the World: Marseille’s Mediterraneanisms
3. Urban Gynecology and Engineered Destruction: Spatial Politics in the City at War
4. Spectacles of Ruin: From a New Monumentality to Urban Purification
5. Imperial Façades: Postwar Rebuilding and the Battle for the Old Port
6. Excavating Past and Present: Recovering the Ancient Port of Massalia
Conclusion: Afterimages of Marseille

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