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Case Study Houses: 1945-1966: The California Impetus (Taschen Basic Architecture) Paperback – May 1, 2006


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Case Study Houses: 1945-1966: The California Impetus (Taschen Basic Architecture) + Richard Neutra, 1892-1970 (Taschen Basic Architecture) + Charles & Ray Eames: 1907-1978, 1912-1988 Pioneers of Mid-Century Modernism
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Product Details

  • Series: Taschen Basic Architecture
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822846171
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822846179
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Basic Architecture features: • Each title contains approximately 120 images, including photographs, sketches, drawings, and floor plans • Introductory essays explore the architect’s life and work, touching on family and background as well as collaborations with other architects • The body presents the most important works in chronological order, with descriptions of client and/or architect wishes, construction problems (why some projects were never executed), and resolutions • The appendix includes a list of complete or selected works, biography, bibliography and a map indicating the locations of the architect’s most famous buildings

About the Author

Elizabeth A. T. Smith is James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator and Deputy Director for programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Formerly she was curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles where she organized the exhibition "Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses." Smith has taught at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and has published and lectured widely on a variety of topics in contemporary art and architecture.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Red Wood on February 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Be aware that the edition that Cohen is describing in the critic's review @ the top of the page is a previous edition. This new revised copy is not nearly 400 and some pages at all, coming in @ just under 100. Recently, I found this available @ my local Barnes & Noble(if I had seen it sooner, I definitely would not have purchased this). There is very little about each of the case study homes-with literally next to nothing on a few of these. Those that get the most attention receive a couple black and white, sometimes color, photos-often only a 5 inch photo. There is a decent paragraph on each of these-but that is it as far as information goes. I would highly suggest the volume 'Contemporary' by Leslie Jackson for a much more detailed bio on the case studies-as well as this period of design in itself. That book has 100s of photos, often black and white, but, for the most part, those that are in color here are also in that book. Not to mention the photos in Jackson's book are commonly much larger, as is the book itself. Most the pictures in Jackson's reference take up a good amount of the page, as well. The description and time given these houses in Jackson's book is much fuller and well rounded. That is just simply the real book to get here, also including some design in fabric, furniture, and glass of the time. However, it is mainly on the design of the rooms of the midcentury-modern abode, most pics being the case studies. Also, for a companion piece, pickup Taschen's 'Decorative Art-the 60s'. That one IS the common Taschen reference size, coming in @ nearly 600 pages!!! It includes hundreds of photos, mainly black and white, on the room designs of the midcentury home(the real innovations in these houses came out of the later 50s-early 60s, anyway).Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By curt dilger on June 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, Ok, there's a beautiful, gigantic, definitive book on the Case Study Houses at $136. Then there's this small, slick little book, presenting each and every case study house, in order, editorially excellent through and through. An outstanding summary of an under-documented era of modern architecture, one with a crucially democratic agenda. $9.99. The book itself represents the case study ethic--great design at a price VERY within reach.
Not a difficult choice. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marco Antonio Abarca VINE VOICE on August 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
In 1945, Arts & Architecture magazine launched the Case Study effort as a response to the housing shortage following the Depression and the Second World War. Its goal was to rethink domestic architecture by creating relatively low cost, modern housing for America's emerging middle class. From 1945 to 1966, the magazine featured thirty projects. Some of the houses like the Eames house and Pierre Koenig's Case Study House #21 and Stahl house went onto to become some of the most iconic American houses of the Twentieth Century. Unfortunately, not all of the houses are up this rarified level.

In an effort to catalogue all of the concept houses, Elizabeth Smith dedicates a few pages to each house. The Eames house gets as much attention as Case Study House #10 by Kemper Nomland. However, at $9.99 for this volume one cannot be too upset. If you are really interested in the Case Study project, purchase Elizabeth A.T. Smith other more definitive study on the Case House Project. The value of this book is to get an idea of what the project was about and purchase better books about the individual houses or the architects that created them.
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By Dan Gushue on September 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good read for anyone interested in Eames Era, mid-century modern architecture. It's a small book and a quick read. The pictures inside are B&W, but decent quality.
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