Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities
304 Pages, 7.00 x 10.00 in, 55 b&w photos, 35 b&w illus.
Sales Date: June 1, 2014
With new research on building programs in political, religious, and domestic settings in the United States and Europe, this collection of essays offers a fresh look at postwar modernism and the role that architecture played in constructing modern identities.
In the decades following World War II, modern architecture spread around the globe alongside increased modernization, urbanization, and postwar reconstruction—and it eventually won widespread acceptance. But as the limitations of conventional conceptions of modernism became apparent, modern architecture has come under increasing criticism. In this collection of essays, experienced and emerging scholars take a fresh look at postwar modern architecture by asking what it meant to be “modern,” what role modern architecture played in constructing modern identities, and who sanctioned (or was sanctioned by) modernism in architecture.
This volume presents focused case studies of modern architecture in three realms—political, religious, and domestic—that address our very essence as human beings. Several essays explore developments in Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia and document a modernist design culture that crossed political barriers, such as the Iron Curtain, more readily than previously imagined. Other essays investigate various efforts to reconcile the concerns of modernist architects with the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian institutions. And a final group of essays looks at postwar homebuilding in the United States and demonstrates how malleable and contested the image of the American home was in the mid-twentieth century. These inquiries show the limits of canonical views of modern architecture and reveal instead how civic institutions, ecclesiastical traditions, individual consumers, and others sought to sanction the forms and ideas of modern architecture in the service of their respective claims or desires to be modern.
"An original and significant contribution to the field of architectural/design history. . . . This volume [presents] material that is new to art historical investigation: in particular, studies of eastern European traditions in relation to modernism and to architecture under communism with the Cold War as an important backdrop and context. . . . . The volume questions as well as explores and expands [the more familiar canon of postwar architecture], helps the reader by alluding or directly referencing postmodernism, and allows for an overall reconsideration of assumptions that lead to a fuller and more pluralistic understanding of modern architectural and design history."~David Raizman, Distinguished University Professor, Westphal College of of Media Arts and Design, Drexel University, and author of History of Modern Design and coeditor of Objects, Audiences, and Literature: Alternative Narratives in the History of Design
Vladimir Kulić, Timothy Parker, and Monica Penick
Introduction. Writing History: Reflections on the Story of Midcentury Modern Architecture
Dennis P. Doordan
Part I. Modernism and the State
1. Bucharest: The City Transfigured
2. The Scope of Socialist Modernism: Architecture and State Representation in Postwar Yugoslavia
3. Czechoslovakia's Model Housing Developments: Modern Architecture for the Socialist Future
Kimberly Elman Zarecor
4. Sanctioning Modernism and Tradition: Italian Architecture, the Vernacular, and the State
Part II. Making Religion Modern
5. Uncertainty and the Modern Church: Two Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Britain
6. "Humanly sublime tensions": Luigi Moretti's Chiesa del Concilio (1965–1970)
7. Modernism and the Concept of Reform: Liturgy and Liturgical Architecture
Part III: Modernism and Domesticity
8. "Technologically" Modern: The Prefabricated House and the Wartime Experience of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
9. "Modern but not too modern": House Beautiful and the American Style
10. House and Haunted Garden
The publication of Sanctioning Modernism was made possible by the support of the Roger Fullington Endowment in Architecture.