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Women and the Making of the Modern House

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9780810939899: Women and the Making of the Modern House
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"If you want a book about architecture which is informative, provocative, offers new paradigms on the way we describe architecture, is both soundly academic, and as compelling to read as a good novel, look no further." --Kester Ratenbury In this groundbreaking book, Alice T. Friedman investigates how women patrons of architecture were essential catalysts for innovation in domestic architectural design. By looking at such iconic houses as Hollyhock House (Frank Lloyd Wright), the Truus Schroder House (Gerrit Rietveld), the Edith Farnsworth House (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), the Constance Perkins House (Richard Neutra), and the Vanna Venturi House (Robert Venturi), she explores the challenges that unconventional attitudes and ways of life presented to architectural thinking--and to the architects themselves. Detailed portraits--fashioned from personal letters, diaries, office records, photo albums, and interviews--of the clients and architects reveal the private passions and struggles that women and men of talent and creativity brought to these projects, and suggest the rich cultural and artistic context in which each house was created. The works considered are thus brought to life through the people who commissioned, designed, and lived in them.

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"If you want a book about architecture which is informative, provocative, offers new paradigms on the way we describe architecture, is both soundly academic, and as compelling to read as a good novel, look no further." Kester Ratenbury"

Synopsis:

This is a study of houses designed by architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Robert Venturi for independent women who headed their own households. It explores the challenges that unconventional attitudes and ways of life presented to architectural thinking - and to the architects themselves. Among the houses examined are Hollyhock House, the Farnsworth House, the Schroeder House and the villa, "Les Terrasses". The author focuses on people and their lives as well as on the history of built form. Each chapter follows one house from conception to completion and beyond, looking behind the scenes at the complex process of give-and-take as design decisions were hammered out. Detailed portraits - fashioned from personal letters, diaries, office records, photo albums and interviews - aim not only to reveal the private passions and struggles that men and women of talent and creativity brought to these projects, but also to suggest the rich cultural and artistic context in which each house was created.

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Publisher: Yale University Press, 2007
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