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Urban Design & Architecture in the 20th Century Hardcover – September 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: hf ULLMANN (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3833153180
  • ISBN-13: 978-3833153181
  • Product Dimensions: 1.6 x 11 x 12.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,492,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Kaur on February 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As the books title suggests, it is a combination of architecture and urban design. The photos are amazing. The organization I find straining to follow. The organization is by decade and shows the typology and inspirations of the time. I am enjoying this book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pierre Gauthier on April 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
At the outset, this book is strikingly appealing: over 400 large size pages with abundant colour illustrations, a well defined structure covering the 20th century decade by decade, suggested walking tours of specific cities such as Buenos Aires, Berlin, Rome, London, etc.

The actual product, however, is very disappointing.

The contents is totally biased in favour of modernism, the book concluding that it has no end and is `forever reinventing itself anew'. Important phenomena such as `New Urbanism' are not mentioned at all. Also, the point of view is very much German. Berlin is described as the `Center of Europe' and the reader is expected for instance to be perfectly familiar with the `Federal Garden Show'.

Worse, the translation from German is often outright awkward. This leads to gibberish such as : `'A good dozen of these road conversions were, between 1982 and 1986, part of the arsenal of decentralizing measures that, as a whole, added up to a rhythmic sequence of quite different qualities'' (page 357).

The book's rigid structure with a chapter devoted to each 10-year period turns out to be impractical, as often a movement or an architect's career spreads over a much longer period. This leads to a significant number of repetitions _ although they occur also within a single chapter, sometimes from one page to the next.

Tours of specific cities are completely impractical as there are often distances of many kilometers from one site to the next. The maps illustrating these tours are clearly inadequate as anyone knowing these cities will immediately realize. For unknown reasons, there are photographs of only some of the sites.

In general, the choice of photographs is often questionable. Fidel Castro opens up the chapter devoted to the 1950-59 period; Adolf Hitler that for 1930-39!

Need I say more?
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