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The United Nations (Building Block Series) Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 23, 1999

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, August 23, 1999
$28.62 $5.20

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The United Nations needs no introduction, but most people probably don't realize that the building itself is the product of a team of 11 design architects from as many countries (plus several other consultants from even more places), including French superstar Le Corbusier. It was as unprecedented an experiment in large-scale architectural modernism as it was in international governance. And although most readers know its exterior appearance, few are aware of its varied and often dramatic interior public spaces. The UN building is just one of the modernist icons that preeminent architectural photographer Ezra Stoller documented in a career that spanned more than half a century. Now retired, Stoller has been reassembling his work for permanent (rather than periodical) publication. The United Nations is one of a series published by Princeton Architectural Press that presents individual buildings in depth in a small-size volume. The photographs are not only stunning, they have particular documentary value in that Stoller shot them when the buildings were new--in this case, 47 years ago.

The series has been designed for relative affordability, and its subjects are well chosen. Each volume includes a very brief preface by Stoller setting out his relationship to the building and a fairly short critical, historical, analytical essay. Buttressed by about a dozen endnotes, the essays occupy a middle ground between informal and scholarly writing. They are followed by 50 to 60 duotone photos and a few plan drawings. This is an expert look at an extraordinary building and well worth readers' serious attention. --John Pastier


"Ezra Stoller is the Annie Leibovitz of modern architecture." -- House & Garden

Each compact volume in this impeccably curated series is devoted to a single, seminal work by a modern master. -- House Beautiful, July 2000

Ezra Soller, perhaps the most famous photographer of Modern architecture, is know for his ability to capture not only the heroic qualities of buildings but their complex personalities as well. Many of his photographs have been gathered by Princeton Architectural Press in a new series of books called "Building Block," each one the cumulative portrait of a different structure, complete with a foreword from Stoller, who is now retired. The buildings, photographed by Stoller just after they were finished, have become most familiar to us through his early take on them. The central meeting room in Wallace Harrison's United Nations (1952) appears futuristically theatrical to our eyes, as it must have to Stoller's; a black-robed priest stands in contemplation among the textured gray curves and angular windows of Le Corbusier's Chapel at Ronchamp (1954); the sinuous landscape of Eero Saarinen's TWA Terminal (1962) glows through a window into the night. Stoller collected defining moments in the lives of these buildings. Today, after many of his subjects have been debased by the surrounding clutter of parking lots and condominium towers, his photographs keep the initial promise of their hopeful, pristine Modernism alive. -- Metropolis

Handsome and well-priced; based on the brilliant photography of Ezra Stoller. -- Interior Design, June 2000

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