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Modernism Rediscovered by Pierluigi Serraino and Julius Shulman

2000; 576 pages


With this gorgeous retrospective of public and private buildings built between 1939 and 1980, the thoughtful publishers at Taschen ask two important questions: Why are some buildings (and their celebrated designers) still famous, while others have dropped from memory? Could it be the photography?

Since we Viridians want our cybergreen design philosophies to take permanent root in the public consciousness, we have to share these two concerns.

Consider Julius Shulman's color and black & white shots, originally taken for American Modernism magazine. Here we see the brilliant yet forgotten architect Gordon Drake constructing affordable, aesthetically optimistic housing in the wake of WW II; buildings that would fit organically and unobtrusively into their environments, whether those be mountainous, woodsy, desert, seaside, or some temperate combination thereof.

Feast your eyes on that natural stone, the local hardwoods, panoramic glass walls, interior ponds, Japanese gardens, strategic use of natural light, and a very Japanese sense of flow-through in terms of indoor/outdoor living. Yet none of the works in this book received massive publicity during its heyday. The buildings may have since decayed, yet the imagery is still here, a helpful reminder of how pervasive this proto-Viridian aesthetic once was in American architectural ideology.


ISBN: 3822864153

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