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Contemporary World Architecture

Pearman, Hugh

ISBN 10: 0714837431 / ISBN 13: 9780714837437
Published by Phaidon Inc Ltd, 1998
New Condition: New Hardcover
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0714837431 This is a hardcover book with dust jacket. DJ HAS SMALL TEAR!!. Bookseller Inventory # LA TOP MX10

Bibliographic Details

Title: Contemporary World Architecture

Publisher: Phaidon Inc Ltd

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

This work presents a comprehensive survey of international architecture at the end of the century and offers a critical study of the social, cultural and political changes that are shaping the built environment today. Continual advances in science and technology, shifting demographics and greater global communications constantly transform lifestyles and business practices, and prompt a perpetual reinterpretation of architectural ideology and building types. The book is divided into 12 chapters, each organized typologically into building functions - visual arts, performance, religion, consumerism, living, workplace, learning, industry, sport, tourism, transport, civic realm and megastructures. It presents over 300 recent public and private buildings, from housing and work environments to sports and leisure facilities, by many of the world's key protagonists, and examines the evolution of new architectural solutions from the late 60s to the end of the century and beyond. Biographical details of the major architects featured are also included.

Review:

Hugh Pearman's Contemporary World Architecture is a remarkable work that gives new meaning to the term magnum opus. Its sheer bulk and scope are staggering: about seven pounds and 512 large pages, with about 1200 illustrations (predominantly in color) depicting 660 buildings around the world. It's a 13-course visual feast showcasing the most interesting, dramatic, graceful, inventive, subtle, and significant constructions of the late 20th century. But size and looks aren't everything: this book also has brains; it organizes the material by broad building types to allow readers to make logical comparisons, bringing order to potential chaos. Each chapter could be considered a small monograph on different building types--structures for the visual arts, performing arts, learning, religion, retailing and restaurants, housing, white-collar work, industry, tourism and entertainment, transportation, and sports, as well as skyscrapers and public buildings and spaces.

It's a near-impossible task, but Pearman endeavors to say something structured and intelligent about each of those many buildings, and place them in some societal or physical context. He doesn't shy from strong opinions, declaring that Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, "instantly became the single most famous building in the world when it opened," and calling it the "most evocative architectural image" of our time.

Many of the photos are frustratingly small given the complexity of their content, but remedying that would obviously have created an even larger, more costly volume. As it is, Pearman's book is essential reading for students, practitioners, clients, or anyone else seriously interested in the architecture of our time. --John Pastier

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