For architects, designers, and aficionados alike, books are a rich source of inspiration. 360Modern has rounded up five recently published books to have on your radar.
In 2017 we published a blog titled “Ten ‘Must Have’ Books For Your Modernist Library”, this is an update to that. All the books listed below have been published since we last visited our bookshelves to give you recommendations. Look at the related articles below and keep reading!
Design books occupy a unique space between decorative object and pragmatic resource—there are a host of people who adorn their coffee tables with glossy-paged tomes to signal their artistic tastes, while others pour over such volumes as a vetted source of inspiration. Whatever your reason for amassing a collection of such books, here we’ve gathered five titles that showcase some of the best of mid-century and Modern architecture and design.
Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses by Dominic Bradbury (2019)
Boasting more than 400 homes, this comprehensive collection of mid-century homes from Phaidon Press features a global queue of residences, rife with colorful photography and informative text to accompany each work. From Palm Springs to Paris, author Dominic Bradbury extensively researched each home, thoughtfully contextualizing a host of virtually-unknown marvels alongside the iconic works of architects like Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, and Richard Neurtra. The result? An essential, encyclopedic work that is sure to offer a wealth of inspiration.
A must see: The Sculptured House by Charles Deaton is a futuristic residence that lives up to its name—nestled in Genesee, Colorado, the home is perched on a mountain, akin to something you might expect from an episode of The Jetsons.
Iconic: Modern Australian Houses 1950–2000 by Karen McCartney (2019)
From Murdoch Books comes an impressive survey of the best that Modern architecture down under has to offer. The book brings together two previous works by author Karen McCartney, 50/60/70 and 70/80/90 for one cohesive look at the Australian design milieu in the latter half of the 20th Century. Featuring the works of such architects as Harry Seidler, Peter Muller, Roy Grounds, and Peter McIntyre, Iconic mixes informative essays, quotations from the architects, and photography that showcases the area’s penchant for large windows and landscape views.
Standout project: The Reeves House by Stutchbury & Harper (1997–1999), Clareville Beach, New South Wales
Master of the Midcentury: The Architecture of William F. Cody by Catherine Cody, Jo Lauria and Don Choi (Coming August 2021)
William F. Cody is lauded as one of the driving forces behind the Palm Springs’s identity as an epicenter of Modern architecture. In this first-ever monograph dedicated entirely to the architect, readers can expect a thoroughly illustrated testament to the designer, including photography, color renderings, drawings of both still-standing and now-lost structure. From publisher The Monacelli Press, the book was authored by the trio that curated the exhibition ‘Fast Forward: The Architecture of William F. Cody’ at the Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles: the architect’s daughter, Cathy Cody; design historian Jo Lauria; and architectural historian Don Choi.
An unexpected addition: While most of Cody’s work was concentrated in California and Arizona, he had commissions in other western states including Hawaii, Mexico, Honduras, and Cuba, having designed hospitality projects as well as celebrity homes (including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Walt Disney).
Utzon Uncovered: Revisiting Jørn Utzon’s Masterwork on Mallorca by Lise Juel (2020)
Fresh off the presses from Rizzoli is Utzon Uncovered, an in-depth look at Can Lis, the residence that Danish Modern architect Jørn Utzon (perhaps best known for designing the Sydney Opera House) completed for his own family in 1974. Nestled on the Spanish island of Mallorca, the Modern abode takes full advantage of the surrounding natural views, with minimal adornment and striking vistas through frames of concrete infrastructure. In 2012, Danish architect and author of Utzon Uncovered, Lise Juel, completed the restoration of Can Lis—the book combines Juel’s own process—and the discoveries made along the way—behind resurrecting and residence.
Compelling detail: The entire book is shot in black and white by renowned architectural photographer Hélène Binet.
Modern Architecture and the Lifeworld: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Frampton edited by Karla Cavarra Britton and Robert McCarter (2020)
For those wanting a deeper (admittedly-nerdier) dive into topics of Modern architecture, this one’s for you. In this tribute to legendary architectural historian Kenneth Frampton, nearly 25 essays, penned by Modern critics, writers, and designers, argue various facets of Frampton’s legacy in the practice of architectural nonfiction. The book, published by Thames & Hudson, is divided into three parts: “The Social, Cultural, and Ecological Nature of Architecture,” “Histories and Pedagogies of Architecture,” and “Operational Criticism, Landform, and Tectonic Presence.” Taken together, for Frampton’s fans, the essays are a mosaic profile of the architect, and for those less familiar with his work, an authoritative look at Frampton’s impact on the theory and practice of architecture as it’s understood today.
Worthwhile read: “A Time of Heroics: Paul Rudolph and Yale, 1958–1965” by Robert A.M. Stern with Leopoldo Villardi
Explore amazing mid-century and contemporary Modern homes on the market now on 360modern.com!