Cover image for Icons of architecture : the 20th century
Icons of architecture : the 20th century
Thiel-Siling, Sabine.
Publication Information:
Munich ; New York : Prestel, 1998.
Physical Description:
190 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NA680 .I26 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



This illustrated volume is the best of what international architectural experts have to offer: a convincing selection of the century's superlative architecture from the turn of the century to present day. The buildings examined in this book, well-known today as icons of 2Oth century architecture, were considered spectacular in their own times for reasons ranging from stylistic innovation to technological breakthrough. New York City's Chrysler Building, Lloyd's of London, and the exciting new Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain - each of these structures, whether treasured or despised, has become a modern-day place of pilgrimage, and the stories behind their rise to iconic status have shed light on how we think about the built environment. Each building is presented in a double-page spread with brilliant photographs, original drawings, and helpful plans. Texts written by recognized specialists describe each work's design features and historical significance.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Although less recognizable than Daniel Burnham or Frank Lloyd Wright, Shaw came out of the same late-nineteenth-century, creative Chicago milieu as did they. Greene presents a comprehensive album of Shaw's dozens of buildings in Chicago, which if less iconic than those of Burnham and Wright celebrated in the Prestel book, still dot the city's neighborhoods, contributing an overlooked elegance to Chicago's renowned architectural history. Shaw's practice catered to the wealthy classes; he built their homes, churches, and, in the city's adjacent hinterlands, their country houses. Shaw met their undaring tastes for "conservative freshness," as one critic eulogized him. He delivered Gothic and English country designs, and for such designs his reputation has suffered. Greene (herself an architect) believes it timely to reassess Shaw's work and underscores his more adventuresome factory and office buildings. Dozens of photographs with commentary make this the comprehensive guide to Shaw. World-famous designs by Shaw's competitors, the Flatiron building by Burnham and Fallingwater by Wright, are among 85 buildings of the century according to the Prestel album, which forcefully showcases how modernism radically reshaped architecture. Inevitably buildings truly iconic are presented (Bauhaus), but the title is happily belied by the inclusion of numerous less-celebrated but no less startling edifices. Spanning the century, these discharged industrial functions (Ford's River Rouge complex) or social ones (a worker's club in Moscow) reflected currents up to 1950; since then, cultural institutions and transportation terminals have attracted the architectural avant-garde. Designed to convey essential biographical and critical information, this album is consummately compatible with a public-library collection. --Gilbert Taylor

Library Journal Review

This international survey of key architectural monuments brings together 37 contributors' brief essays on more than 70 houses, apartment buildings, office buildings, clubs, factories, museums, concert halls, and other building types. In strict chronological order, there are from five to 14 entries per decade, each allotted one two-page spread that consists of usually high-quality photographs of the building; often a plan, section, or preliminary sketch; and a portrait of the architect beside a concise professional biography. The essays vary from anecdotal to descriptive. This volume updates and even improves on Lucy Peel and others' An Introduction to 20th Century Architecture (Chartwell, 1989) and neatly complements At the End of the Century (LJ 11/1/98), a considerably more theoretical and scholarly exhibition publication. Greater consistency would have made this volume more helpful to students, and as with any survey, there are puzzling omissions and redundancies. Still, this is an essential addition to any public or academic architecture collection.√ĄPaul Glassman, New York Sch. of Interior Design Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.