An Introduction to Modern Architecture

Title: An Introduction to Modern Architecture
Genre: Fine Arts
Author: J. M. Richards
Cover Credits: The Lever Building in New York City, photographed by Don Hunstein.
Publisher: Penguin Books, Ltd., Middlesex, England
Series: “A Pelican Original”
Year: 1967 (second revised edition, 12th printing of 1940 volume)
Pages: 190
Format: Paperback, mass-market format.
Provenance: A few passages underlined in ball-point pen.
Chapter Titles: Introduction; Why a ‘Modern’ Architecture?; Architecture and Machinery; New Materials and Methods; The Growth of the Idea; After 1918; The Modern Architectural Scene; Some Modern Buildings.
Opening Sentence: “The words ‘modern architecture’ are used here to mean something more particular than contemporary architecture.”
Random Passage: “Between 1939 and 1945, except for spasmodic efforts in neutral Sweden and Switzerland, which were themselves cut off from many essential materials, civilian building flourished only in South American countries, where an enterprising school of modern architecture had just become established. It had been stimulated by a visit paid by Le Corbusier to Brazil in 1936, and spread afterwards with astonishing rapidity.”
Notes: The cover of An Introduction to Modern Architecture utilizes the iconic “Marber Grid” developed by graphic designer Romek Marber in 1961. The history of Penguin Books, particularly their great design aesthetic, was chronicled in the terrific book Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005 by Phil Baines (Penguin Books, 2005).


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