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Books: Marcel Breuer: 1902-1981

Time magazine called Marcel Breuer one of the “form-givers of the 20th century“: with his invention of steel-tube furniture. In 1943, he conceived the “binuclear” house concept—the splitting of living and sleeping areas into separate wings—which he first applied to the Geller House I (1944-1946), and which would attain great popularity. After designing the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (1953-1958), reinforced concrete, with its formal plasticity und structural elasticity, continued to give monumental character to buildings such as the Abbey and Campus of St. John’s University in Minnesota (1953-1961), the IBM Research Center in France (1960-1962), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1963-1966) in New York City. With his keen sense of proportion, shape, and material, Breuer is one of the most important Modernists and is still very much central in the discussion of contemporary architecture.

Marcel Breuer: 1902-1981: Form Giver of the Twentieth Century, Edited by Peter Gössel, Dr. Arnt Cobbers.
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Monograph: Jean Nouvel by Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel, France’s premier architect designs his own monograph. Limited to 1,000 signed and numbered copies packaged in a translucent plexiglass slipcase reminiscent of the translucent facades often seen in Jean Nouvel designs. Five years in the making, a book that will finally give the full measure of the architect’s talent. Two 400-page hardcover volumes give the most complete overview to date of Jean Nouvel’s career, including works in progress such as the new Louvre in Abu Dhabi, the Philharmonie de Paris, and the extension of the MoMA in New York.

Jean Nouvel by Jean Nouvel. Complete Works 1970-2008 Edited by Philip Jodidio
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Books: Le Corbusier Le Grand

Le Corbusier (1887-1965) was born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. The self-named Le Corbusier was not only the creator of some of the most important and impressive buildings of the last century—Villa Savoye at Poissy, the Chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Haut at Ronchamp, the capitol complex in Chandigarh, India—he was also an accomplished painter, sculptor, furniture designer, urbanist, and author. His work and social theories continue to be a dominant force in the world of architecture and design, while his elegant bearing, bow tie, and round black eyeglasses are still today a signature look for architects around the world. Le Corbusier Le Grand’s oversized format and luxurious binding reflect the legendary status of this “giant” of twentieth-century architecture and design.

Le Corbusier Le Grand, A spectacular visual biography of one of the greatest architects of the 20th century.
Buy it here: Amazon

Books: Arts & Architecture, The Complete Reprint

The seminal architecture journal re-printed as it appeared in its original form

The first part (1945-1954) of the facsimile edition of John Entenza’s groundbreaking magazine, which launched the Case Study House Program; in ten boxes, each containing one year’s worth of magazines

From the end of World War II until the mid-1960s, exciting things were happening in American architecture: emerging talents were focusing on innovative projects that infused low-cost materials and modern design. This trend was most notably incarnated in the famous Case Study House Program, which was championed by the era’s leading American journal, Arts & Architecture. Focusing not only on architecture but also design, art, music, politics, and social issues, A&A was an ambitious and groundbreaking publication, largely thanks to the inspiration of John Entenza, who ran the magazine for over two decades until David Travers became publisher in 1962. The era’s greatest architects were featured in A&A, including Neutra, Schindler, Saarinen, Ellwood, Lautner, Eames, and Koenig; and two of today’s most wildly successful architects, Frank Gehry and Richard Meier, had their debuts in its pages. A&A was instrumental in putting American architecture—and in particular California Modernism—on the map.

Arts & Architecture, 1945-54: The Complete Reprint, Edited by David Travers, 118 Magazines in 10 Boxes, 6156 pages. limited to 5000 numbered copies.

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Books: The Complete Works of Richard Neutra

Originally from Vienna, Richard Neutra came to America early in his career, settling in California. His influence on post-war architecture is undisputed, the sunny climate and rich landscape being particularly suited to his cool, sleek modern style.
Neutra had a keen appreciation for the relationship between people and nature; his trademark plate glass walls and ceilings which turn into deep overhangs have the effect of connecting the indoors with the outdoors. Neutra’s ability to incorporate technology, aesthetic, science, and nature into his designs brought him to the forefront of Modernist architecture.

Neutra. Complete works, Edited by Peter Gössel, 464 pages.
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Books: Tadao Ando Complete Works

“In architecture, there is a part that is the result of logical reasoning and a part that is created through the senses. There is always a point where they clash. I don’t think architecture can be created without that collision.” -Tadao Ando

Philippe Starck describes him as a “mystic in a country which is no longer mystic.” Philip Drew calls his buildings “land art” that “struggle to emerge from the earth.” He is the only architect to have won the discipline’s four most prestigious prizes: the Pritzker, Carlsberg, Praemium Imperiale, and Kyoto Prize. His name is Tadao Ando, and he is the world’s greatest living architect. Combining influences from Japanese tradition with the best of Modernism, Ando has developed a completely unique building aesthetic that makes use of concrete, wood, water, light, space, and nature in a way that has never been witnessed in architecture.

Ando: Complete Works, Edited by Philip Jodidio, 500 pages.
Buy it here: Amazon

Related post: Model: Tadao Ando

Books: Case Study Houses

The Case Study House program (1945-66) was an exceptional, innovative event in the history of American architecture and remains to this day unique. The program, which concentrated on the Los Angeles area and oversaw the design of 36 prototype homes, sought to make available plans for modern residences that could be easily and cheaply constructed during the postwar building boom.

The program’s chief motivating force was Arts & Architecture editor John Entenza, a champion of modernism who had all the right connections to attract some of architecture’s greatest talents, such as Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, and Eero Saarinen. Highly experimental, the program generated houses that were designed to re-define the modern home, and thus had a pronounced influence on architecture – American and international – both during the program’s existence and even to this day.

“It’s a huge coffee-table (make that a banqueting-table) book, which analyses each of the houses in chronological order, with plans, sketches and glorious photographs.”
The Observer Life Magazine, United Kingdom

Case Study Houses, Hardcover, 440 pages, Edited by Peter Gössel, Elizabeth Smith.

Buy it here: Amazon

Books: The A-Z of Modern Architecture

Unlike most architecture encyclopedias, which tend to concentrate more on buildings and floor plans than their designers, this tome puts the architects in the spotlight, profiling individuals so that readers can get a clear overview of their bodies of work. Each architect’s entry features a portrait, quote, and short biography as well as a description of important works, historical context, and general approach; illustrations include numerous drawings, photographs, and floor plans. The book’s A to Z entries cover not only architects but also groups, movements, and styles from the 18th to the 21st centuries. With 600 entries and 5,200 illustrations, The A–Z of Modern Architecture is a comprehensive resource that no architecture professional, fan, or student should be without.

The A-Z of Modern Architecture, Hardcover, 2 Vol. in Box, 1072 pages, Edited by Peter Gössel

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Monograph: Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava is not only one of the world’s most prominent architects, but also an engineer and an artist. With recent projects such as the stadiums for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens or the new railway station in Liège, Belgium, he has reached a level of undeniable notoriety in Europe and continues to move further ahead. The only architect ever to have his work exhibited at both the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, he is currently working on the main transportation hub for Ground Zero in Manhattan as well as the tallest building in the United States: the 160-story Chicago Spire Tower. Winner of the 2005 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal as well as numerous other prestigious awards, Calatrava is one of the greatest and most innovative architects alive.

Buy it here: Calatrava: Complete Works, 1979-2007

Editor's Picks

Bell Side Table
Hand-blown in the traditional manner using a wooden mould, the transparent tinted glass base asserts a sculptural presence in space, contrasting intriguingly with the solid brass frame on top while also forming with it a harmonious unit recalling the elegant curving silhouette of a bell. [more...]

Suggested Reading

The Story of Eames Furniture
Brimming with images and insightful text, this unique book is the benchmark reference on what is arguably the most influential and important furniture brand of our time. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum
First-ever book to explore the process behind one of the greatest modern buildings in America. [more...]
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MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11
A unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our time, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Cars Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything

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Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything. This lavish and beautifully designed book is the gift book for all car enthusiasts and design aficionados. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Design Icons

Karuselli Lounge Chair
“Without question my favourite piece of interior design, and undoubtedly the most comfortable chair I’ve ever sat in. I like to retire to one with a cigar and a stiff drink as frequently as possible." - Sir Terence Conran. [more...]

Resources

More Books

Case Study Houses
“It’s a huge coffee-table book, which analyses each of the houses in chronological order, with plans, sketches and glorious photographs.” [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Eames Lounge Chair
The book examines the evolution of a design icon and places it in its cultural, historical and social context. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The U.N. Building
Symbol of world humanitarianism, a beacon of unity after the Second World War. More than 50 years on, the 39-story building is regarded as one of the pinnacles of mid-century modernism. [more...]
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Loblolly House
Including a DVD of the film "A House in the Trees", a real-time documentary of the design, fabrication, and assembly of this amazing house. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Desire
The Shape of Things to Come. An up-to-date comprehensive survey on furniture and object design today, showcasing the crème de la crème of designers. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Marcel Wanders
Behind the Ceiling is the first monograph on one of the most influential, prolific and celebrated international designers today. [more...]
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How to Wrap Five Eggs
A mid-60s classic of Japanese design. Stunningly laid-out paean to traditional Japanese packaging is rife with sumptuous black and white photos of all manner of boxes, wrappers and containers that appear at once homely and sophisticated, ingeniously utilitarian yet fine and rare. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

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