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On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change

by

On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The architectural revolution of the twentieth century as witnessed by Americas preeminent architecture critic.

Known for her well-reasoned and passionately held beliefs about architecture, Ada Louise Huxtable has captivated readers across the country for decades, in the process becoming one of the best-known critics in the world. Her keen eye and vivid writing have reinforced to readers how important architecture is and why it continues to be both controversial and fascinating.  

In her new book—which gathers together the best of her writing, from one of her first pieces in the New York Times in 1962 on le Corbusiers Carpenter Center at Harvard, to essays in the New York Review of Books, to more recent writing in the Wall Street Journal—Huxtable bears witness to some of the twentieth centurys best—and worst—architectural masters and projects.

With a perspective of more than four decades, Huxtable examines the centurys modernist beginnings and then turns her critics eye to the seismic shift in style, function, and fashion that occurred midcentury—all leading to a dramatic new architecture of the twenty-first century. Much of the writing in On Architecture has never appeared in book form before, and Huxtables many admirers will be delighted to once again have access to her elegant, impassioned opinions, insights, and wisdom.

“Looking back, I realize that my career covered an extraordinary period of change, that I was writing at a time in which architecture was changing slowly but radically—a time when everything about modernism was being incrementally questioned and rejected as we moved into a new kind of thinking and building.” And while it was a quiet, nearly stealth revolution, it was a absolutely a revolution in which the past was reaccepted and reincorporated, periods and styles ignored by modernism were reexamined and reevaluated. History and theory, once considered irrelevant, became central to the practice of architecture again.”

Ada Louise Huxtable, former New York Times critic, winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, and MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, is currently the architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal. She is recognized as the founder of contemporary architectural journalism. Her books include The Unreal America: Architecture and Illusion, Kicked a Building Lately? and, most recently, a short biography of Frank Lloyd Wright for the Penguin Lives series. She served for many years on the juries of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the American Committee of the Japanese Praemium Imperiale. She lives in New York City and Marblehead, Mass.

Known for her well-reasoned and passionately held beliefs about architecture, Ada Louise Huxtable has captivated readers across the country for decades, in the process becoming one of the best-known critics in the world. Her keen eye and vivid writing have reinforced to readers how important architecture is and why it continues to be both controversial and fascinating.  

In her new book—which gathers together the best of her writing, from one of her first pieces in the New York Times in 1962 on le Corbusiers Carpenter Center at Harvard, to essays in the New York Review of Books, to more recent writing in the Wall Street Journal—Huxtable bears witness to some of the twentieth centurys best—and worst—architectural masters and projects.

With a perspective of more than four decades, Huxtable examines the centurys modernist beginnings and then turns her critics eye to the seismic shift in style, function, and fashion that occurred midcentury—all leading to a dramatic new architecture of the twenty-first century. Much of the writing in On Architecture has never appeared in book form before, and Huxtables many admirers will be delighted to once again have access to her elegant, impassioned opinions, insights, and wisdom.

"This important new anthology features more than 100 short essays spanning the career of noted and influential architecture critic Huxtable . . . What makes this volume important is Huxtable's retrospective organization. The theme that runs throughout is the 'transformation of modernism.' Opening chapters on each decade from the 1960s to the 1990s reflect the architectural Zeitgeist of the times. In the second half, Huxtable assembles essays examining iconic buildings and the works of the masters of modernism-Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Louis Kahn, Walter Gropius, and Frank Lloyd Wright. She devotes a whole section to essays about the World Trade Center, and her 1966 piece is all the more prescient given our historical perspective. Although the essays span a career lasting more than 35 years, none of them seems dated. If your library does not own any of Huxtable's work, this is the one to add to your collection. Highly recommended."—Herbert E. Shapiro, Library Journal

"This important new anthology features more than 100 short essays spanning the career of noted and influential architecture critic Huxtable. Most of the pieces originally appeared in the New York Times when Huxtable was its architecture critic, but there are also more recent essays from the New York Review of Books and the Wall Street Journal. What makes this volume important is Huxtable's retrospective organization. The theme that runs throughout is the "transformation of modernism." Opening chapters on each decade from the 1960s to the 1990s reflect the architectural Zeitgeist of the times. In the second half, Huxtable assembles essays examining iconic buildings and the works of the masters of modernism-Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Alvar Aalto, Louis Kahn, Walter Gropius, and Frank Lloyd Wright. She devotes a whole section to essays about the World Trade Center, and her 1966 piece is all the more prescient given our historical perspective. Although the essays span a career lasting more than 35 years, none of them seems dated. If your library does not own any of Huxtable's work, this is the one to add to your collection. Highly recommended."—Herbert E. Shapiro, Library Journal

"Pulitzer Prize–winner Huxtable (Frank Lloyd Wright)—architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal and formerly for the New York Times—presents her penetrating and tough-minded criticism spanning half a century, including several pieces never before published. Centering largely on modernism, its masters and its discontents, the volume opens with an overview of the past four decades, including startlingly powerful pieces on the late '60s urban decay and the '90s reinvention of architecture by Alvaro Siza, Frank Gehry and Christian de Portzamparc. Subsequent sections cover such architectural icons as the new Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris (the most awesomely perverse building I have ever seen) and the new MoMA (where there is no repose). Huxtable's highly influential essays on the cultural history of the skyscraper and the World Trade Center site are remarkable. Three charming, short pieces on the critic's personal landmarks, from the Beaux Arts building she grew up in to the Colt Firearms Building near Hartford, Conn., conclude this collection of learned analyses, fluent and exuberant."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Review:

"Pulitzer Prize — winner Huxtable (Frank Lloyd Wright) — architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal and formerly for the New York Times — presents her penetrating and tough-minded criticism spanning half a century, including several pieces never before published. Centering largely on modernism, its masters and 'its discontents,' the volume opens with an overview of the past four decades, including startlingly powerful pieces on the late '60s urban decay and the '90s reinvention of architecture by Alvaro Siza, Frank Gehry and Christian de Portzamparc. Subsequent sections cover such architectural icons as the new Bibliothque Nationale in Paris ('the most awesomely perverse building I have ever seen') and the new MoMA (where 'there is no repose'). Huxtable's highly influential essays on the cultural history of the skyscraper and the World Trade Center site are remarkable. Three charming, short pieces on the critic's personal landmarks, from the Beaux Arts building she grew up in to the Colt Firearms Building near Hartford, Conn., conclude this collection of learned analyses, fluent and exuberant. 25 b&w illus." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

The architectural revolution of the twentieth century as witnessed by Americas preeminent architecture critic.

Known for her well-reasoned and passionately held beliefs about architecture, Ada Louise Huxtable has captivated readers across the country for decades, in the process becoming one of the best-known critics in the world. Her keen eye and vivid writing have reinforced to readers how important architecture is and why it continues to be both controversial and fascinating.  

In her new book—which gathers together the best of her writing, from one of her first pieces in the New York Times in 1962 on le Corbusiers Carpenter Center at Harvard, to essays in the New York Review of Books, to more recent writing in the Wall Street Journal—Huxtable bears witness to some of the twentieth centurys best—and worst—architectural masters and projects.

With a perspective of more than four decades, Huxtable examines the centurys modernist beginnings and then turns her critics eye to the seismic shift in style, function, and fashion that occurred midcentury—all leading to a dramatic new architecture of the twenty-first century. Much of the writing in On Architecture has never appeared in book form before, and Huxtables many admirers will be delighted to once again have access to her elegant, impassioned opinions, insights, and wisdom.

“Looking back, I realize that my career covered an extraordinary period of change, that I was writing at a time in which architecture was changing slowly but radically—a time when everything about modernism was being incrementally questioned and rejected as we moved into a new kind of thinking and building.” And while it was a quiet, nearly stealth revolution, it was a absolutely a revolution in which the past was reaccepted and reincorporated, periods and styles ignored by modernism were reexamined and reevaluated. History and theory, once considered irrelevant, became central to the practice of architecture again.”

About the Author

Ada Louise Huxtable, former New York Times critic, winner of the first Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, and MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellow, is currently the architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal.  She is recognized as the founder of contemporary architectural journalism. Her books include The Unreal America: Architecture and Illusion, Kicked a Building Lately? and, most recently, a short biography of Frank Lloyd Wright for the Penguin Lives series. She served for many years on the juries of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the American Committee of the Japanese Praemium Imperiale.  She lives in New York City and Marblehead, Mass.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802717078
Author:
Huxtable, Ada Louise
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Author:
Huxtable, ADA Louise
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Architecture
Subject:
History : General
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
Architecture, modern
Subject:
20th century
Subject:
Architecture, Modern -- 20th century.
Subject:
Architecture -- History.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20081031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW Illustrations throughout
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Theory

On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change Used Hardcover
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$16.95 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802717078 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Pulitzer Prize — winner Huxtable (Frank Lloyd Wright) — architecture critic for the Wall Street Journal and formerly for the New York Times — presents her penetrating and tough-minded criticism spanning half a century, including several pieces never before published. Centering largely on modernism, its masters and 'its discontents,' the volume opens with an overview of the past four decades, including startlingly powerful pieces on the late '60s urban decay and the '90s reinvention of architecture by Alvaro Siza, Frank Gehry and Christian de Portzamparc. Subsequent sections cover such architectural icons as the new Bibliothque Nationale in Paris ('the most awesomely perverse building I have ever seen') and the new MoMA (where 'there is no repose'). Huxtable's highly influential essays on the cultural history of the skyscraper and the World Trade Center site are remarkable. Three charming, short pieces on the critic's personal landmarks, from the Beaux Arts building she grew up in to the Colt Firearms Building near Hartford, Conn., conclude this collection of learned analyses, fluent and exuberant. 25 b&w illus." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

The architectural revolution of the twentieth century as witnessed by Americas preeminent architecture critic.

Known for her well-reasoned and passionately held beliefs about architecture, Ada Louise Huxtable has captivated readers across the country for decades, in the process becoming one of the best-known critics in the world. Her keen eye and vivid writing have reinforced to readers how important architecture is and why it continues to be both controversial and fascinating.  

In her new book—which gathers together the best of her writing, from one of her first pieces in the New York Times in 1962 on le Corbusiers Carpenter Center at Harvard, to essays in the New York Review of Books, to more recent writing in the Wall Street Journal—Huxtable bears witness to some of the twentieth centurys best—and worst—architectural masters and projects.

With a perspective of more than four decades, Huxtable examines the centurys modernist beginnings and then turns her critics eye to the seismic shift in style, function, and fashion that occurred midcentury—all leading to a dramatic new architecture of the twenty-first century. Much of the writing in On Architecture has never appeared in book form before, and Huxtables many admirers will be delighted to once again have access to her elegant, impassioned opinions, insights, and wisdom.

“Looking back, I realize that my career covered an extraordinary period of change, that I was writing at a time in which architecture was changing slowly but radically—a time when everything about modernism was being incrementally questioned and rejected as we moved into a new kind of thinking and building.” And while it was a quiet, nearly stealth revolution, it was a absolutely a revolution in which the past was reaccepted and reincorporated, periods and styles ignored by modernism were reexamined and reevaluated. History and theory, once considered irrelevant, became central to the practice of architecture again.”

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