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Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies Paperback – April 2, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Los Angeles deserves to be read today . . . as a model on how to read any city." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

About the Author

Reyner Banham (1922-1988) was Sheldon H. Solow Professor of the History of Architecture at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and Professor of Art History at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Among his many books are A Critic Writes (California, 1996) and Theory and Design in the First Machine Age (1961). Anthony Vidler is Professor and Chair of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His most recent book is Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture (2000).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; New edition edition (April 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520219244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520219243
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,850,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Even though Banham's book was written in the early '70's, it remains a cogent view of a metropolis that has changed yet remained the same. It is a place, yes a real place, that is defined by geography and the various cultures of its inhabitants to a unique degree. Architecture is but a backdrop to Banham's larger point about the inter-relationship of people to the natural and built environments. The perspective of 35 years only sharpens the observations made by the insightful author.
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Format: Paperback
Reyner Banham's writing is intelligent and entertaining. He has taken LA to heart and reveals how its "four ecologies" have affected its contemporary appearance and character. You'll not only learn how LA's architecture came to be as it is, but learn a great deal about the history and personality of the city as well. I read this book to get to know LA better. I couldn't have picked a better one.
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Format: Paperback
Although I've never been to Los Angeles, I conceived a great affection for the city by reading this book. Banham was a wonderful writer, a man utterly without European prejudices regarding the United States and southern California. To better understand the city and its modes of life, he learned to drive. He grasped that Los Angeles depends on mobility, rather than central organization. The illustrations are wonderful--one in particular, the magnificent interior of the Bradbury building of 1893 I found inspiring. A very beautiful book that belongs in every library.
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Format: Paperback
I translated this book into Portuguese and it made me fall in love with a city I've never seen. A perfect example of place-reading and architectural analysis, written in an engaging (and a little wild) style. Hasn't lost anything after forty years.
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Format: Paperback
Los Angeles. There were a few years there when Los Angles was the center of the world. 1965-1985, give or take a few years. Oh yes, even the Brits were raving. David Hockney had declared LA the best place to paint ("Splash") and Reyner Banham declared LA the city of tomorrow. Things were cooking and I was there. Then things started to go wrong. Spielberg and the boys from USC took over Hollywood and turned the city from a culture center into an amusement park. The pollution started to get too dangerous to laugh at. The gangs took over much of the fringe. There was Rodney King, O.J., riots, earthquakes, fires, gang warfare. All in all, the city was destroyed. Who knows what Banham might make of the place now. This is a great little book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to buy this book for school and Amazon had a great price. The ideas the author presents are interesting and his writing style is definitely interesting. I definitely recommend it for people who live in LA.
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