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Books of the Year 1997

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review

Garrett Eckbo: Modern Landscapes for Living by Marc Treib and Dorothee Imbert. University of California Press, 1997. £32

‘Eckbo arguably succeeded better than any of his contemporaries in balancing art, technique, ecology and society - which remains the challenge for the twenty-first century.’ (Richard Weston, aj 5.6.97)

 

Thirteen Ways: Theoretical Investigations in Architecture by Robert Harbison. mit Press, 1997. £12.50

Harbison polarised opinion: ‘a uniform series of anecdotal reflections of an eclectic architectural taste, with almost no structure to give it coherence’ (Jeremy Melvin, aj 31.7.97); ‘a glittering text in which the author darts dextrously from Mendelsohn to the Pyramids, from Scharoun to St Simon Stylites.’ (Kenneth Powell, aj 29.5.97)

 

Mineheads by Bernd and Hilla Becher. mit Press, 1997. £49.95

Latest volume in the uniform edition of the Bechers’ deadpan industrial photographs. (aj 23.10.97)

 

Rethinking Architecture Edited by Neil Leach. Routledge, 1997. £16.99

‘Read carefully, as it demands to be, it should set the pace for debate about architecture for a long time to come.’ (Adrian Forty, aj 1.5.97)

 

The Road that is not a Road and the Open City, Ritoque, Chile by Ann M Pendleton-Julian. mit Press, 1996. £14.95

Discusses architectural education but much else as well, such as buildings- in-the-landscape, urbanism, poetry, utopias. (aj 23.1.97)

 

Translations from Drawing to Building and Other Essays by Robin Evans. aa Publications, 1997. £15

‘Evans can take a subject which has long been part of your mental furniture and give it a fresh turn. He seizes the world by the oddest handles and finds significance in unlikely corners.’ (Robert Harbison, aj 10.7.97)

 

A Critic Writes: Essays by Reyner Banham Edited by Mary Banham. University of California Press, 1996. £32

‘Banham is better and more fun to read than almost any other critic because of the strong personal animus which powers everything he did.’ (Robert Harbison, aj 20.3.97)

 

Frank Furness: The Complete Works by George E Thomas et al. Princeton Architectural Press, 1997. £30

‘This is a wonderful book because Frank Furness was a wonderful architect.’ (Julian Holder, aj 19.6.97)

 

Luis Barragan by Antonio Riggen Martinez. Monacelli Press, 1997. £40

‘Martinez is Mexican and at pains to situate Barragan in his cultural context: the result is a revelation.’ (Richard Weston, aj 23.10.97)

 

Tadao Ando: The Colours of Light by Richard Pare. Phaidon, 1996. £60

‘An outstanding presentation of arguably the most significant body of work of the last 20 years.’ (Richard Weston, aj 24.4.97)

 

Frank Lloyd Wright by Robert McCarter. Phaidon, 1997. £60

See Richard Weston’s review overleaf

 

Books chosen by Andrew Mead

 

Enric Miralles: Works and

 

Projects 1975-95

 

Edited by Benedetta Tagliabue Miralles. Monacelli Press, 1997. £27.50

 

‘Miralles’ creative output and global reach put talented British contenders of his generation in the shade.’ (Stephen Greenberg, aj 24.7.97)

 

On Abstract Art

 

by Briony Fer. Yale University Press, 1997. £25

 

‘Her book should be read by all architects who have an interest in the art of the twentieth century.’ (Dean Hawkes, aj 2.10.97)

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