Urbanism | Book Reviews

  • February 25, 2013
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  • Author: Shilpa
A Guide To Archigram 1961-741. A Guide to Archigram 1961-74 | Dennis Crompton
Princeton Architectural Press, Bilingual Edition, 2012
Paperback, 447 pages
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A radical group of young architects – Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron and Michael Webb burst onto the British architectural scene in the 1960’s with a rather futuristic and technocratic manifesto for building, which they called Archigram. Archigram was a movement, a philosophy that  sought to reinvent the ‘Modern’, and at the same time reject the prevailing post-war British interpretation of it. The stocky book, the second edition, has been compiled by one of those architects, Dennis Crompton and and is essentuially a compendium to the movement, containing their history, essays, concept drawings, photographs and pop culture references that made up the movement that was an important point of shaping future British architecture thinking in the ’70’s and ‘early ’80s. It is a fascinating insight into a major movement that fizzled out into the margins after its heyday – the period of 1961 to 1974, that is covered in the book. Great for an architectural collection or for a visual, graphics or indeed architectural student’s reference. The only gripe is the unusual form of the book itself that doesn’t lend itself to comfortable browsing or a particularly aesthetic display. But then that oddity is perhaps a fitting tribute to its subject.You can buy the book here.
 
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97816168906812. Le Corbusier Redrawn: The Houses | Steven Park
Princeton Architectural Press, 2012
Paperback, 192 Pages
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is definitely a collector’s item – not so much for its aesthetic, but for its usefulness as architectural study and resource. Almost a century since Le Corbusier first emerged as one of the most significant architects of the twentieth century, this book reproduces all 26 of his residential works in finely redrawn detail. Just for this fact alone, this book is tremendously useful, because despite his prominence, most of Le Corbusier’s original designs are in poor condition. I am not an architect per se, but I am pretty sure that this would be the first book that reproduces all his residential designs in such fine detail – layouts, elevations, sections and orthogonal views. What adds to this volume is the subtlety of rendering used in these drawings, which really brings out the relationship between the various spaces in the designs, and provides a veritable ‘walkthrough’ the buildings, albeit in two dimensions. The book itself keeps with Le Corb’s minimalistic and essentialistic aesthetic – stark, minimal and highly functional. A must buy for anyone interested in the field of Le Corbusier’s work – student, professional or lay person. 
 
You can buy the book here.
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