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On Architecture

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The architectural revolution of the twentieth century as witnessed by America's 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 Corbusier's 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 century's best--and worst--architectural masters and projects.

With a perspective of more than four decades, Huxtable examines the century's modernist beginnings and then turns her critic's 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 Huxtable's 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 Corbusier's 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 century's best--and worst--architectural masters and projects.

With a perspective of more than four decades, Huxtable examines the century's modernist beginnings and then turns her critic's 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 Huxtable's 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

Synopsis:

For more than half a century, Ada Louise Huxtable's keen eye and vivid writing have reinforced to readers how important architecture is and why it continues to be both controversial and fascinating—making her one of the best-known critics in the world. On Architecture collects the best of Huxtable's writing from the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, and her various books. In these selections, Huxtable examines the twentieth century's most important architectural masters and projects, cataloging the seismic shifts in style, function, and fashion that have led to the dramatic new architecture of the twenty-first century.

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:
9780802717672
Author:
Huxtable, Ada Louise
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Author:
Huxtable, ADA Louise
Subject:
History - Specific Styles
Subject:
Criticism
Subject:
General Architecture
Subject:
ARCHITECTURE / General
Subject:
Architecture -- History.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
BandW Illustrations throughout
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Product details 496 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802717672 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

For more than half a century, Ada Louise Huxtable's keen eye and vivid writing have reinforced to readers how important architecture is and why it continues to be both controversial and fascinating—making her one of the best-known critics in the world. On Architecture collects the best of Huxtable's writing from the New York Times, New York Review of Books, Wall Street Journal, and her various books. In these selections, Huxtable examines the twentieth century's most important architectural masters and projects, cataloging the seismic shifts in style, function, and fashion that have led to the dramatic new architecture of the twenty-first century.

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