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ArchitectureWeek Book Center

New books and classics, too, on architecture, building, architects, design, construction, design media, and more...

As noted by the editors of ArchitectureWeek.  Suggestions and submissions are welcome.

Books / History / By Era / 20th Century

Country and Suburban Houses of the Twenties: With Photographs and Floor Plans
Author: Bernard Wells Close
Publisher: Dover Publications
Year: 2004
Amazon Price:
ArchitectureWeek— This reprint of a rare book contains scores of illustrations and floor plans for eighty American homes, among them a spacious Pennsylvania fieldstone colonial; a modest, three-bedroom suburban bungalow; and an artist's two-story studio/residence in California. A great primary reference for architects and students of architectural history; of special value to anyone interested in restoring old homes. 104 black-and-white illustrations.

The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1
Author: Emily Thompson
Publisher: MIT Press
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $22.76
ArchitectureWeek— In this history of aural culture in early-twentieth-century America, Emily Thompson charts dramatic transformations in what people heard and how they listened. What they heard was a new kind of sound that was the product of modern technology. They listened as newly critical consumers of aural commodities. By examining the technologies that produced this sound, as well as the culture that enthusiastically consumed it, Thompson recovers a lost dimension of the Machine Age and deepens our understanding of the experience of change that characterized the era.

Key Buildings of the Twentieth Century: Plans, Sections, Elevations
Author: Richard Weston
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $26.37
ArchitectureWeek— Scale drawings of 100 significant and influential buildings by such 20th century stars as Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Jorn Utzon, Robert Venturi, Norman Foster, Mario Botta, Frank Gehry, and Tadao Ando. Documentation for each building includes color photographs, line drawings, and a concise history explaining importance. CD-ROM of drawings.

The 1970s is Here and Now
Author: Samantha Hardingham, editor
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Year: 2005
Amazon Price: $60.00
ArchitectureWeek— The decade of the 1970s was marked by architecture that was energetic, experimental, and environmentally conscious. This book looks at the housing, schools, and urban design of FAT, David West of Will Aslop Architects, Liza Fior of Muf, Pauline van Mourik Brekman and Simon Worthington of Mute Magazine, and many others.

Ecological Architecture: A Critical History
Author: James Steele
Publisher: Thames and Hudson
Year: 2005
Amazon Price: $37.12
ArchitectureWeek— Ecological Architecture charts the rise of this new consciousness, assessing the situation now, and identifying future directions. A decisive step in the rewriting of the history of modern architecture, this book will be essential reading for practitioners and students of architecture. As an urgent wake-up call concerning the state of our built environment, it will be of interest to everyone who cares about the future of our planet.

Theories and Manifestoes of Contemporary Architecture
Author: Charles Jencks and Karl Kropf
Publisher: Wiley Academy Press
Year: 2006
Amazon Price: $42.54
ArchitectureWeek— In the first edition of this classic work, Charles Jencks demonstrated that modern architecture in the 1960s and 70s had undergone a mutation into three major approaches — post-modernism, late modernism and new modernism, with oscillations between these and traditional approaches. This new edition brings his thinking up to date with additional material that suggests the direction theory is taking into the 21st century.

Bloomsbury Rooms: Modernism, Subculture, and Domesticity
Author: Christopher Reed
Publisher: Yale University Press
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $30.89
ArchitectureWeek— Documenting the development of the Bloomsbury aesthetic from 1910 through the 1930's in Britain, Reed analyzes the rooms designed by Bloomsbury artists as spaces in which to be modern. Interiors are revealed in detail through drawings, paintings, photographs and sketches. The aesthetic and ideological implications of the Bloomsbury interiors were international in scope, Reed argues, and constitute important episodes in this history of modernity. Published in association with the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, this book casts new light on the Bloomsbury Group and how the issues of their day influenced their decoration of the home.

New York's Pennsylvania Stations
Author: Hilary Ballon and Marilyn Jordan Taylor
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Year: 2002
Amazon Price: $38.68
ArchitectureWeek— The story of New York's Pennsylvania Station, from its construction (1902-1910) to its demolition in the 1960s, and the anticipation of a new station in 2003.

New York, Empire City: 1920–1945
Author: David Stravitz - With an essay and captions by Christopher Gray
Publisher: Abrams
Year: 65535
Amazon Price: $23.10
ArchitectureWeek— New York comes gloriously to life in this fascinating collection of 100 historical photographs of notable streetscapes and landmarks. The photo's were discovered by author David Stravitz when he was on a hunt for used camera equipment These rare photographs of the city are accompanied here by informative captions and an insightful essay by architectural historian Christopher Gray. From Trinity Church to Harlem, from Coney Island to Yankee Stadium, these images transport the reader into a vanished era.

The Critical Seventies: Architecture and Urban Planning in the Netherlands 1968-1982
Author: Martien de Vletter
Publisher: NAI Publishers
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $40.00
ArchitectureWeek— This volume focuses on architecture, urban planning and spatial planning in the period 1968 - 1982. Specific projects from this period are discussed and extensively documented on the basis of six themes. An introductory essay considers the context in which the architecture and urban planning changed so radically during this period.

The Dream Palaces of Hollywood's Golden Age
Author: David Wallace
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Year: 2006
Amazon Price: $33.75
ArchitectureWeek— Hollywood historian David Wallace unveils 25 buildings and homes from Hollywood's Golden Age. An in-depth look at the histories of these structures, as well revelations about many of their famous occupants. Each restored to its original grandeur, the buildings-from private homes to theaters, hotels, restaurants, and hot spots of the day-are showcased in 200 photographs, all specially commissioned for this book, as well as rare historic shots. The portraits of these famed spaces-including the homes of Hollywood superstars such as Cary Grant, Gloria Swanson, Cecil B. DeMille, and Charlie Chaplin, plus locations like Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Max Factor building-demonstrate the innovation, ingenuity, and drive that gave birth to Hollywood.

Strategies of Display: Museum Presentation in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Visual Culture
Author: Julia Noordegraaf
Publisher: NAi Publishers
Year: 2004
Amazon Price:
ArchitectureWeek— Strategies of Display describes the history of museum presentation within the context of nineteenth- and twentieth-century visual culture. Taking the remarkable display history at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam as a point of departure, it reflects on the history of presentation in museums in Western Europe and North America. Its numerous illustrations present a parallel history of museum presentation in pictures.

Living in the Lowlands: The Dutch Domestic Scene 1850-2000
Author: Baeten Jean Paul
Publisher: NAI Publishers
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $45.00
ArchitectureWeek— Fifteen 'domestic scenes' illustrate important points in the history of housing construction in the Netherlands since 1850. Each 'domestic landscape' is described by a different author in a brief and sometimes highly personal text, illustrated with visual documentation from the collection of the Netherlands Architecture Institute. Living in the Lowlands accompanies the new permanent exhibition in the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam.

Bernd & Hilla Becher: Life and Work
Author: Susanne Lange
Publisher: The MIT Press
Year: 2006
Amazon Price: $45.90
ArchitectureWeek— Influential German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher had as their lifetime project documenting the postwar industrial landscape. This biography describes their life and work and offers a critical assessment of their place in the history of photography. The author discusses the couple's extraordinary partnership and their aesthetic. She argues that industrial buildings shape our perceptions as cathedrals did in the Middle Ages.

Modern Architecture through Case Studies 1945 to 1990
Author: Peter Blundell Jones and Eamonn Canniffe
Publisher: Architectural Press
Year: 2007
Amazon Price: $49.86
ArchitectureWeek— This book offers new interpretations of some of the most famous architecture of the postwar period as well as work by lesser-known but influential architects. Case studies, with theoretical explorations and contemporary debates, are illustrated with photographs, plans, and drawings.

London Caffs
Author: Edwin Heathcote
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $29.95
ArchitectureWeek— This documents a fast-disappearing London archetype, the workers' caff, or greasy-spoon diner, built from the 1940s to the 60s, coinciding with Britain's first wave of interest in modern design. The small book illustrates over 30 establishments with original contemporary fittings, which are still functioning today and constitute a pivotal space in London public life.

Subway Style: 100 Years of Architecture & Design in the New York City Subway
Author: New York Transit Museum
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $29.20
ArchitectureWeek— Commemorating its centennial, this publication presents an illustrated history of the architecture and design of the entire complex, from the interiors of the trains and the mosaic signage at the stations to the evolution of the token and the intricacy of the intertwined, rainbow-colored lines on the free, foldout map.The book includes newly commissioned color photographs of historic and contemporary station ornamentation as well as imagery from the Museum's archives. The images span the full century, from the system's inception in the early 1900s up to and including architectural renderings for the still-to-be-built Second Avenue line.

White Walls, Designer Dresses
Author: Mark Wigley
Publisher: MIT Press
Year: 2001
Amazon Price: $28.58
ArchitectureWeek— This new examination of 20th century architectural history challenges basic concepts of design and architectural theory, considering elements of fashion, modern relationships between clothing trends and architectural concepts, and changing influences on design logic.

The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture
Publisher: Phaidon
Year: 2004
Amazon Price:
ArchitectureWeek— The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary Architecture presents a comprehensive survey of international architecture at the turn of the twenty-first century. Eminent architectural critics, curators, journalists and practitioners from all parts of the globe were asked to nominate what they considered to be the most outstanding works of contemporary architecture in their regions and beyond. The resulting c.1,050 buildings both confirm the far-reaching influence of well-known and respected international practitioners such as Jean Nouvel, Tadao Ando, Renzo Piano, Sir Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & De Meuron, as well as introducing a host of lesser-known architects whose work provides an illuminating point of comparison with their famous counterparts. The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture will be essential reading for all those interested in gaining a true understanding of where the best contemporary architecture is located in the world.

The Mythic City: Photographs of New York by Samuel H. Gottscho, 1925–1940
Author: Donald Albrecht
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Year: 2005
Amazon Price:
ArchitectureWeek— Historian Donald Albrecht presents 175 of Gottscho's images of the city, from the Battery to Harlem. An introductory essay tells the story of the legendary photographer, describing his working methods and philosophy, while placing his work in the broader context of photographic history.

The Architecture of Aftermath
Author: Terry Smith
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Year: 2006
Amazon Price: $30.00
ArchitectureWeek— With close readings of key buildings — including Jorn Utzon's Sydney Opera House, Minoru Yamasaki's World Trade Center, Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and Richard Meier's Getty Center — Terry Smith traces the growth of the spectacular architecture of modernity and then charts its aftermath in the conditions of contemporaneity. Indeed, Smith focuses on the very culture of aftermath itself, exploring how global politics, clashing cultures, and symbolic warfare have changed the way we experience destination architecture.

Twentieth-Century Architecture
Author: Dennis P. Doordan
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Year: 2001
Amazon Price:
ArchitectureWeek— A detailed account of the many architectural trends of the last 100 years, including several that have been previously marginalized or ignored.

The Glass State: The Technology of the Spectacle, Paris 1981-1998
Author: Annette Fierro
Publisher: MIT Press
Year: 2002
Amazon Price: $36.48
ArchitectureWeek— The many meanings of transparency in architecture analyzed through the transparent monumental buildings that were built as part of François Mitterrand's program of Grands Projets: the metaphor of accessibility as a means of breaking open cultural institutions previously closed to the public.

Modernism in Serbia: The Elusive Margins of Belgrade Architecture, 1919-1941
Author: Ljiljana Blagojevic
Publisher: MIT Press
Year: 2003
Amazon Price: $36.95
ArchitectureWeek— Comprehensive account of an almost forgotten body of work that once defined regional modernism at its best, viewing the buildings designed in Belgrade in the 1920s and 1930s as part of a larger cultural phenomenon.

Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City
Author: Neal Bascomb
Publisher: Doubleday
Year: 2003
Amazon Price: $17.16
ArchitectureWeek— Chronicle of the 1920s race to build the world's tallest building, focusing on architects William Van Alen and Craig Severance, creators of New York City's Manhattan Company Building and the Chrysler Building.

XX Century Architecture
Author: Matteo Siro Baborsky
Publisher: Wiley-Academy Editions
Year: 2003
Amazon Price: $35.00
ArchitectureWeek— An ambitious overview of the key buildings and most influential architects of the 20th Century. From Alvar Aalto to Peter Zumthor, a story of new materials, rapidly evolving technology, and progressive theories and techniques.

LA’S Early Moderns: Art, Architecture, Photography
Author: Victoria Dailey, Natalie Shivers, Michael Dawson
Publisher: Balcony Press
Year: 2003
Amazon Price: $23.07
ArchitectureWeek— This book is about a secret Los Angeles, a Los Angeles filled with optimism about a different kind of “city of the future.” The reader will enter a rarified social realm where client, artist, architect, lover, patron, and publisher merged in a creative ferment that occurs spontaneously and magically at rare moments in a city’s life.

Beautiful Bungalows of the Twenties
Author: Edited by Building Age and The Builders' Journal
Publisher: Dover
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $12.95
ArchitectureWeek— This reference volume was originally published by Building Age and The Builders' Journal, New York in 1923. This Dover reproduction displays a variety of handsome bungalows built in the early 1920s from Maine to California. Included are illustrations of bungalows for a small family, a farm bungalow, a stucco bungalow design, a chalet in Los Angeles, and other models.

Sears House Designs of the Thirties
Author: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Publisher: Dover
Year: 2003
Amazon Price: $10.36
ArchitectureWeek— This reprint of a rare 1930s catalog displays the interiors and exteriors of Sears-designed homes. Illustrations of 68 houses, including measured floor plans, depict such attractive residences as the Belmont-a six-room house with vestibule, breakfast alcove, and one-and-a-half baths-and the Dover-an English cottage with a massive chimney and unusual roof lines. Invaluable to restorationists and people interested in preserving homes of this period. Over 200 black-and-white illustrations.

Chicago's Famous Buildings
Author: Franz Schulze and Kevin Harrington
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Year: 2003
Amazon Price: $11.90
ArchitectureWeek— Now in its fifth edition, Chicago's Famous Buildings covers more than a decade of new architecture and takes a look back at the city's classical legacy of Adler, Sullivan, Burnham, Root, Wright, and Mies van der Rohe. The authors have added many new descriptions and images of the most important projects in Chicago. The book also includes a glossary of architectural terms, an extensive index, new maps that serve as great walking guides, and more than sixty new photographs of both old and new buildings.

Architecture and Truth in Fin-de-Siècle Vienna
Author: Leslie Topp
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2004
Amazon Price: $113.00
ArchitectureWeek— This book examines one of the key notions of modernist architecture as it was formulated in Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century. Providing a close analysis of four major buildings - Olbrich's Secession Building, Hoffmann’s Purkersdorf Sanatorium, Wagner's Postal Savings Bank, and Loos's Michaelerplatz building - Leslie Topp investigates how "truth" could be interpreted in a variety of ways, including truth to purpose, symbolist or ideal truth, and ethical notions of authenticity. Drawing on newly uncovered archival materials, Topp offers a new interpretation of familiar buildings that are shown to encompass utopianism, hyperrationality, and subjectivism. She also explores the connections between Viennese modern architecture and contemporary painting, psychiatry, fashion, labor issues, and anti-Semitic politics.

Barcelona Pavilion: Mies van der Rohe & Kolbe
Author: Ursel Berger and Thomas Pavel, editors
Publisher: Jovis Verlag
Year: 2007
Amazon Price: $29.95
ArchitectureWeek— Mies van der Rohe's famous Barcelona Pavilion was built for the 1929 World's Fair then demolished in 1930 and reconstructed as a permanent installation in 1986. Known for its simple form — perpendicular planes and "flowing space" — and extravagant materials, such as marble and travertine, the pavilion has become an icon of modern architecture. This book is a thorough study of the building, its history, and the artwork it was built for.

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