Why this book?
This book is an incredibly impressive feat—20 years in the making, 876 pages—and is necessary to understand the architecture that defines our era. One of America’s most respected architecture critics, Giovannini has spent decades writing about the work of such seminal architects as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Wolf D. Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au, Thom Mayne of Morphosis—and so many others that he came to know personally. Giovannini is the perfect person to craft this history. His erudite prose breaks down complex concepts into themes and timelines, putting architecture that resists context into comprehension. I also always love a book that takes its “objectness” into consideration. Weighing in at around 8 pounds, the object’s trapezoidal shape bucks orthogonal conventions—a perfect reflection of the work discussed in its pages.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
In Architecture Unbound, noted architecture critic Joseph Giovannini proposes that our current architectural landscape ultimately emerged from transgressive and progressive art movements that had roiled Europe before and after World War I. By the 1960s, social unrest and cultural disruption opened the way for investigations into an inventive, antiauthoritarian architecture. Explorations emerged in the 1970s, and built projects surfaced in the 1980s, taking digital form in the 1990s, with large-scale projects finally landing on the far side of the millennium. Architecture Unbound traces all of these developments and influences, presenting an authoritative and illuminating history not only of the sources…