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Master Builders: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright (The Norton Library) [Paperback]

by Peter Blake
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 17, 1996 0393315045 978-0393315042

The story of modern architecture is told here through the lives and works of three men who changed the face of the cities we live in.

Le Corbusier gave to modern design a sure and brilliant sense of form; Mies brought an almost Gothic discipline of structure; and Wright heralded a new and dramatic concept of space and freedom. Through this triple focus, Peter Blake provides a perspective on the entire range of twentieth-century architecture. 129 photographs and 22 drawings

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Master Builders: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright (The Norton Library) + The International Style + Modern Architecture Since 1900
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The late Peter Blake, an architect, once served as head of the architecture and design department of the Museum of Modern Art, editor in chief of Architectural Forum, and chairman of the department of architecture at Catholic University.

Product Details

  • Series: The Norton Library
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393315045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393315042
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #310,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The author plays favorites. July 20, 2004
This book seeks to profile three architects of worldwide influence, each of whom has profoundly influenced the built environment we experience today. It provides rich glimpses into the architectural environment of the early 20th century, and tells a compelling tale of three architects who each shook off the vine-covered frippery of art nouveau in their own way. It's a good book, but upon re-reading it last year, the author's clear bias towards (almost hero-worship of) Le Corbusier came through much more strongly than when I was a neophyte in college. The book paints Mies Van der Rohe as a cold German technocrat with a talent only for efficiency; Frank Lloyd Wright as a pure iconoclast and egomaniac whose vision was so ideosyncratic that it had only limited influence; and Le Corbusier as a genre-defying revolutionary hero who singlehandedly rescued and reinvented architecture as art. In my opinion, at least, each of these judgments are almost entirely wrong. Even if you kind of agree with Blake's pantheon, the hagiography of Corbu gets a bit embarrasing in places. A great book for the history and context, but I would certainly hope that this book wouldn't be the last thing you read about any of these men.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Touches the 3 masters topically August 23, 2002
By A Customer
Maybe the only book that attempts to compare (rather...state) the big 3. However I think that it degenerates to being a history book that just states facts that are already available in any monograph on each. There is less commentary and more facts. I guess it is a biggeners book to understand who these men were and what projects they did in their lifetime. The only good thing is that this seems to be the only place where you can read about them as a kind of a time-line.....realizing how each one affected the other.
I wish there was a more discussion and comparison/differentiation of the kind of space that these 3 were talking about and a more indepth analysis of their ideologies. Guess we have to wait for someone else to take that risky venture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
For those interested in the development of American architecture, this is an excellent source. It spans the works of the 3 great architects who laid down the guiding principles for modern architecture in the United States and shows the evolution of each. Many of their beautiful works are pictured and described by the author, a former architecture school dean. The principles involved and aesthetic qualities are elaborated. It gives an appreciation of how many current architectural styles evolved and also comments briefly on some of the failings of today. It also traces the interplay between artistic movements - Art Noveau, Cubism, Impressionism, de Stijl - and architecture.

The book is well written, highly literary and frequently humorous. It is enjoyable and educational for anyone with an interest in contemporary architecture and the artistic geniuses who created it as it came about in the United States thru the 20th century.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book to start July 19, 2001
This book by Peter Blake is very good if you are just beginning to know about these three iconic architects. It has everything someone who is not an architect could need to know who Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright were. If you want to go deep into the career of these architects, study their lives and works, this is a first step, and a very good one, but only that.
It is well written, entertaining and true. As a teacher, I would recommend it to architecture students as mandatory reading, best if read in the second or third year of their college years.
Even as it is a basic book, I have it on my night table.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Three Kings of Architecture April 18, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With a concise and clear writing, this book lead you into the work of three great architects; and builders.
It's a delight to read, and very educational. I liked it very much.
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