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The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture Hardcover – May 11, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
I would heartilly recommend this to anyone, in the profession or not, for an in-depth survey of buildings worldwide. I only hope that this is the start of a series and not a one shot deal.
If you are an architecture professional, then the decision is easy to make. Just buy it! Owning this book to you is similar to getting a good dictionary or thesaurus to a professional writer.
The hard part comes if you are only a layperson or causal connoisseur to modern architecture (like me). To me, the cons to the investiment is twofold: 1)Information overload and redundancy. The information contained in this book is just massive. Honestly speaking, if you have already read quite a few books about modern architecture, nearly 70-80% of these projects (especially residentail buildings) are similar conceptually. What I (and probably you) need now is thought-provoking ideas and eye-catching images, which pop up among the mediocre. As a reference book, this Atlas includes both the ingenious ones and the boring ones. I have been wondering the necessity of reading all these projects. At least, I don't plan to get a PhD in architecture. 2)Size of the book. This point is peripheral comparing with the above, but still important (at least to me). The book is so large and so heavy that I cannot lie in my sofa or bed, holding and reading it comfortably. I have to get a desk and sit tight and straight. Architecture is my hobby and I really don't want to infuse a research-like mood when reading the book.Read more ›
Conclusion? No complaints! It's really good as is... I'm a happy customer!
It certainly lives up to it's name as an atlas of 'world' architecture and the areas covered are very comprehensive - from the unbelievably quaint and desirable house for 'one lady and a horse' to a toilet block in Sydney!
The technical data provided is excellent and it is amazing to see the different costings in different parts of the world.
Appealing both to professionals and those with a casual inteest in architecture, this book is more than worth the cost.
For an Australian point of view it was great to see some of the impressive works being created in this country - even though they tend to be skewed towards private residences.
Overall well worth adding to the collection, as a source of inspiration. It even encourages me to design as I was forced to design a new bookshelf to store it in.
Putting those obvious issues aside, I'll focus on its strengths.
The Phaidon Atlas is simply the only book of its kind. It packs a lot of recently built, high quality modern architecture into a single volume that is elegantly designed, and actually a lot of fun to view, because of the division of projects into regions of the globe. Anyone who enjoyed flipping through large world atlases at their school library will enjoy this book too, and if you are also a fan of modern architecture, the book is well worth buying.
There are many beautifully drawn maps, and useful, intriguing statistics, as any "world" atlas would feature. A careful reader will see architectural relations of style, approach, materials, etc. unique to regions such as the Netherlands, Israel, China, or Australia. Only a book of such depth can achieve this. Yes, many of the projects are featured elsewhere, but the majority of projects in the book I hadn't seen before, and I'm both a modern architecture enthusiast and an architecture book designer.
Speaking of design, the book is gorgeous. I've heard some refer to the layout as boring. I strongly disagree. It is well conceived, with careful placement of all visual elements and text. I find it quite refreshing to be able to view a whole architectural profile on a single spread or a single page. The layouts are done with precision, and an attractive and useful global color-coding scheme is employed throughout.
I applaud Phaidon for taking on such an ambitious book project, and for succeeding. The only other publisher of architecture (that I know of) that attempts such large-scale projects is Taschen (see Case Study Houses, Neutra, etc.).
To sum up, the Phaidon Atlas may not be for everyone--some will argue about the selection of projects--but for the price, it delivers a lot, in an entertaining and beautifully designed package.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My dad teaches art at a university, and loves this book for great images of perspective.
I love the book because the architecture is freaking amazing. Read more
My son recently graduated with an Architectural Degree and this was one of the many books he wanted. I purchased it for him has a gift and he loves! It is a big book!Published on November 23, 2013 by Janet Crago
u must have it, but you will never use it after first time, it's really not practical, it' heavy and hard to use it every time you need some ideas, you gonna grab your medium size... Read morePublished on March 14, 2013 by Tengo
Hundreads of proyects from all over the world. I bought it used and it was in great conditions.
Really usefull for finding proyects for further investigation in the internet... Read more
Unfortunately after a month I was notified that they were not able to find the book for me and they cancelled my order. I knew this may happen as this book is out of print. Read morePublished on October 11, 2009 by Mariam
This Atlas presents the world of architecture in a manner similar to completion boards. The sharp images and descriptive narratives make it an excellent addition to any architect... Read morePublished on October 1, 2008 by Scar
I bought this book as a gift for an architecture student, couldn't be more perfect.Its size may be a plus but it also makes it sometimes hard to look at. Read morePublished on January 25, 2008 by Susana Arellano
This is really a first rate book Even though it has been out for two years it offers the most comprehensive account of world architecture yet.Published on January 5, 2008 by William E. Macmahon