lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on architecture

Click on the small images at right to see a larger picture

Anderson, William J., & Arthur Stratton
The Architecture of the Renaissance in Italy - Revised and Enlarged The Historical Architecture Library
B.T. Batsford Ltd., London, nd [c.1927].
Fifth edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titling; 316pp., monochrome frontispiece; 90 plates likewise and 50 illustrations. Mild wear; offsetting to endpapers; scattered foxing throughout; toned and spotted text block edges. Blue card dustwrapper with minor chipping at spine extremities and corners; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. William Anderson' historically important 'Architecture of the Renaissance in Italy' was the first account of the period that was written as a textbook for architectural students. It began as a series of lectures at the Glasgow School of Art and soon became essential for young Royal Institute of British Architecture architects. As both an architect and a teacher Anderson's work was thus pivotal in the acceptance of Italian Renaissance architecture within the profession. This is a revised and enlarged edition under the editorship of Arthur Stratton who also contributes a concluding chapter on the Baroque and later eras of architecture. As a general introduction for students its aim was to provide a background in the study of particular buildings and architects of the period - at the time a singularly progressive subject area.
Click here to order

Argan, Giulio Carlo, & Bruno Contardi
Michelangelo Architect
Phaidon Press Inc., New York NY, 2004.
Square quarto; hardcover; 388pp., many mainly monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Light wear to dustwrapper edges and corners. Near fine in a like slipcase. Michelangelo's sculpture and painting transformed Renaissance art. But he also created an important architectural legacy, one so boldly advanced in conception that it was not properly understood for nearly a century after his death. Most of his designs were never built, and today very little of what was constructed remains untouched and faithful to his original plans. Yet he freed architecture from its emulation of antiquity and transformed it into a dynamic art form. In tracing Michelangelo's development as an architect, this illustrated volume provides not only a comprehensive history of his work but also fresh insights into his imagination and creative processes. Giulio Carlo Argan's text offers an up-to-date interpretation of the place and meaning of architecture in Michelangelo's artistic life. It is complemented by Bruno Contardils catalogue of 31 architectural projects, including such celebrated achievements as the New Sacristy in the Church of San Lorenzo, Florence, the Laurentian Library in the Monastery of San Lorenzo, Florence, the Farnese Palace, Saint Peter's, and the Porta Pia in Rome, as well as various other designs that were never built. The amazing body of evidence assembled and analysed includes designs, plans, contracts, related correspondence and extracts from Michelangelo's own "poetry diary". Michelangelo's architecture testifies to the vision and ambition of this greatest of Renaissance men. Only through it can we reach a complete understanding of his achievement.
Click here to order

Bailey, Brian
Great Romantic Ruins of England and Wales
Crown Publishers, New York NY, 1984.
Quarto; hardcover, with silver gilt spine titling and illustrated endpapers; 256pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; preliminaries and upper text block edge lightly spotted. Very good to near fine in like dustwrapper. Brian Bailey brings together a cross section of the ruins of England and Wales. He includes not only the most famous and spectacular places such as Stonehenge and Bath Spa, the great abbeys of Fountains, Rievaulx and Tintern, Lindisfarne Priory and Corfe Castle, but also the lesser known sites - the long abandoned villages and country churches, intriguing for the myths surrounding them more than for their architectural importance. He also investigates the forsaken splendour of once magnificent houses such as Minster Lovell Hall, Nymans, Appuldurcombe and Moreton Corbet Castle. While some are reduced to rubble, others are perfect facades - their walls pierced by mullion windows and rising to dramatic silhouettes of pinnacles and gables.
Click here to order

Baker, Geoffrey H.
Le Corbusier The Creative Search
E & FN Spon/Chapman & Hall, London, 1995.
Square quarto; hardcover, with silver gilt spine titling; 320pp., with colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; rubbing to board edges with scraping at corners; a few marks on lower text block edge; faint creasing on front endpaper. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This book is a unique analysis and explanation of Le Corbusier's early education, his travels in Europe and the East, his buildings and his Purist paintings. As one of the key architects of the twentieth century, Le Corbusier continues to excite and intrigue architects, artists and students. He acquired his skills as a designer by a meticulous study of historical examples of art and architecture and although he wrote and published widely throughout his life, his early notebooks, diaries and sketches have never before been properly analysed and discussed. In bringing together the very best of his early sketches, Professor Baker explains how they relate to his first buildings. He also provides extensive evidence of the way John Ruskin influenced the young Charles-Edouard Jeanneret. The book is illustrated by over 300 of Le Corbusier's sketches and designs and is an important contribution to the understanding of this great architect.
Click here to order

Barton, Stuart & others
Monumental Follies An Exposition on the Eccentric Edifices of Britain
Lyle Publications, Worthing Sussex UK, 1972.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 267pp., with monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; binding very slightly rolled; mild offsetting to endpapers. Mild wear to head of dustwrapper spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. "Though a good deal is too strange to be believed, nothing is too strange to have happened." (Thomas Hardy). An often hilarious account of architectural follies ranging from elaborate aviaries to enormous sham castles, and taking in towers, columns, reproductions of Greek and Roman temples and amphitheatres, obelisks, summerhouses, cattle-sheds, houses, arches, and just about everything else on the way.
Click here to order

Braunfels, Wolfgang
Monasteries of Western Europe The Architecture of the Orders
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1972.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and upper board publisher's insignia and endpaper maps; 263pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Moderate wear; text block edges evenly browned. Mild chipping to dustwrapper corners; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Distinguished academic art-historian Wolfgang Braunfels outlines in this historical survey and analysis of monastic bodies, the "Rule" of the various Orders which prescribed a way of life and worship to which then, all artistic correlation of the architecture must attend. The style of worship imprinted itself upon works of art and architecture such that the worthy monastery itself symbolised the inward discipline of the Order. "The Monastic ideal represents one of humanity's truly imposing designs of living" writes the author. " That monasteries were themselves works of art derives partly from the belief that every earthly happiness and all heavenly bliss could flourish only in an ordered world built on the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven. Every good monastery strove to embody the City of God. The perfect life called for the perfect monastery." The book contains extensive Notes, Bibliography, Selections from Documentary Sources, List of Illustrations and Index.
Click here to order

Bruggen, Coosje van
Frank O. Gehry Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
Guggenheim Museum Publications, New York NY, 1998.
Quarto; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine and upper board titling and illustrated endpapers; 211pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; mild spotting on board edges; a few scattered spots on endpapers and half-title page; faint spotting to text block edges; previous owner's name in ink. Mild wear to dustwrapper edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao has been variously described as 'the greatest building of our time'; 'a fantasia of complex, swirling forms and sensuous materiality'; 'a fantastic building'. Gehry's use of nontraditional materials and his sensitivity to the environments for his buildings is legendary; his method of envisioning a building through semiautomatic drawings and handmade models is little known, but provides an immediate entry into his creative process. This book is a celebration of the Guggenheim and the revolutionary architecture it surveys from conception to design to construction.
Click here to order

Bryson, Bill
At Home A Short History of Private Life
Doubleday, London, 2013.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling and decorative endpapers; 553pp., colour and monochrome plates and illustrations. Die-cut dustwrapper. Very minor wear. Fine. "In the first chapter of At Home, Bill Bryson surveys his own home, an old Norfolk rectory, and considers the career of the young rector for whom it was built in 1851. Thomas JG Marsham would have enjoyed an income of around 500-400,000 pounds today. He was, Bryson writes, one of 'a class of well-educated, wealthy people who had immense amounts of time on their hands. In consequence, many of them began, quite spontaneously, to do remarkable things'. He cites the examples of George Bayldon, whose services were so poorly attended he converted half his church into a hen-house, and Reverend George Garrett, who pioneered submarine design. They've disappeared now and country vicars are neither rich nor leisured, but Bryson is about as close to a modern equivalent as you can find. At Home has all the hallmarks of being written by someone with a certain sort of intellectual thirst, a lavish income and too much time on his hands, qualities that in our own age are more likely to be found not in clergymen, but bestselling authors. While Bryson's book purports to be about private life, it's really about whatever takes his fancy. This is Bryson's big book of whims. Home, he claims, is where history ends up. And his method is to lead us on a history of Britain and North America via the rooms in his house. Thus, the chapter on the kitchen is where he discourses on the Duke of Marlborough, who was 'said to be so cheap, he refused to dot his 'I's when he wrote, to save on ink' ...In the last third of the book, there's a mad dash through the greatest hits of the Industrial Revolution for what seems like completeness's sake. It's as if the headmaster has walked in and schoolmaster Bryson has been forced to take the Beatles off the turntable and relate the facts of the spinning Jenny. A mistake, as he's always better off-topic, relating how Charles Darwin draped himself with electrified zinc chains and doused his body with vinegar, and how John Lubbock, the man who gave the world bank holidays, also spent three months trying to teach his dog to read. So rather than being a book about home or private life, this is an idiosyncratic sweep through the makings of modernity, and there's a sudden swerve at the end, as Bryson concludes with a mini-critique of the age whose birth he's just described. It's almost, well, a sermon, as if Bryson has realised that he really is Thomas JG Marsham's latterday heir. And it begs the question: what subject will the Reverend Bryson choose to turn to next?" - Carole Cadwalladr
Click here to order

Cattermole, Paul, with Ian Westwell
Bizarre Buildings
Compendium, London, 2007.
Quarto; hardcover, with illustrated boards; 224pp., many colour illustrations. Minor wear; small tears to the top of the front and rear hinges; mild spotting to lower text block edge. Small tears on dustwrapper spine panel matching board injuries; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This intriguing book selects some of the world's most extreme and sometimes weird buildings and structures. Some illustrate the personal expression of an individual builder or patron who has a vision well beyond the norm, while others were built by architects pushing the conventional boundaries of design. Some of the buildings are masterpieces on a larger scale. Examples include Frank Gehry's iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, with its glistening, undulating walls. Some are indeed 'follies' - including the surreal shark sticking out of the roof of a house in Oxford, England. Many of these strange buildings have a more obvious provenance, as deliberate marketing ventures of the owner's product such as the Big Duck building, which is actually shaped like a duck in honour of the poultry once sold there. A marvellous array of unique architectural structures.
Click here to order

Conner, Patrick
Oriental Architecture in the West
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1979.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 200pp., with many monochrome and colour illustrations. Mild wear; lightly spotted endpapers and text block edges. Minor wear to corners of dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Partly because pagodas and pavilions of the West were not faithful reproductions but interpretations of oriental architecture their style has been regarded as eccentric or less than reputable; in this study, however, Dr Conner argues that the hybrid nature of these buildings was a source of novel and exciting design, and shows how the styles of the Orient came to impress or antagonize such leaders of taste as Horace Walpole, Humphry Repton and John Nash. Drawing on a wide body of contemporary journals and pattern-books, paintings and engravings, he examines not only those buildings and gardens that can be seen today but those which have long disappeared or which were too fanciful to ever reach fruition.
Click here to order

Crossley, Fred H.
Timber Building in England From Early Times to the End of the Seventeenth Century
B.T. Batsford, London, 1951.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 168pp., top edges dyed blue, with monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; foxing to preliminaries with some scattered spotting thereafter; wear to board edges; corners bumped; previous owner's name in ink. No dustwrapper. Very good. Fred Crossley was a leading authority on English craftsmanship and especially timberwork whose great opus was this general account of traditional building in all its applications. The treatment is historical and descriptive, informed by the author's wide reading (many footnotes and a bibliography), and encyclopaedic knowledge of timber buildings. The book is subdivided into religious and secular timberwork with useful accounts of the development of constructional techniques, including information on local variations in style. Destruction of important buildings which he records is deplorable: official preservation ostensibly too late to save the essence of English medieval and sub-medieval town architecture. Only isolated buildings remain, their setting torn away. The book is extremely well produced and illustrated, and contains plans and details in addition to photographic images and reproductions of drawings. Quite half of the views are of relatively little-known works and form an important addition to the published repertory. Many are aesthetically delightful. A notable contribution to an important subject. - John H Harvey
Click here to order

de Breffny, Brian, & Rosemary Folliott (George Mott, illus.)
The Houses of Ireland Domestic Architecture from the Medieval Castle to the Edwardian Villa
Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1975.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and upper board publisher's insignia; 240pp., 278 plates, 22 in colour and 4 maps. Mild rubbing to board bottom edges and corners; toned and faintly spotted text block edges. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The authors have made a chronological survey of domestic Irish architecture, most of which are still in existence today. Included are Norman castles, the halls of the old Irish sovereign princes, the ubiquitous tower-houses, the homes of Elizabethan, Cromwellian and Scots settlers as well as examples of Carolean, Williamite, Queen Anne, Irish Palladian, Neo-Classical, Gothic Revival, Georgian, Regency and Victorian architecture. The buildings are described in their historical setting and in the context of the fortunes of their inhabitants and the events of the time. Photographic images by George Mott show the buildings in their original, unaltered states.
Click here to order

Dick, Stewart (Helen Allingham, illus.)
The Cottage Homes of England
Edward Arnold Ltd., London, 1909.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles and rules and a gilt upper board decoration; 288pp. (+ 16pp. of adverts), with a colour frontispiece (with tissue guard) and 64 plates likewise. Moderate wear; covers rubbed and corners bumped; some mild insect damage to the boards; spine lightly sunned; text block edges spotted; mild offset to the endpapers; light scattered foxing throughout; previous owner's name in ink to the half-title page. No dustwrapper. Very good.
Click here to order

Fass, Virginia, with Rita & Vijay Sharma & Christopher Tadgell
The Forts of India Foreword by the Maharajah of Jaipur
Collins Publishers Ltd./Oberoi Hotels International, London, 1986.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling and decorated endpapers; 288pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; light spotting to the text block top edge. Lightly worn dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. "Last time, it was Dom Moraes' book on Bombay that fed a Shiv Sena bonfire because the author had referred to Chhatrapati Shivaji as a Maratha rather than as a national leader. Last fortnight, it was Virginia Fass's 'The Forts of India' that was the object of communal wrath after a prominent Bharatiya Janata Party corporator, Ram Das Nayak, happened to read it. There was an uproar in the Municipal Corporation, followed by a demonstration of BJP and Shiv Sena corporators during which a copy of the book, sponsored by Oberoi Hotels International, was burnt. The controversial paragraphs refer to Shivaji's caste - 'Sudra' - going by the text. Nayak has not only written, to the chief secretary of Maharashtra asking for a ban on the book but threatened legal action against the Oberoi chain of hotels in the absence of a public apology. The offending passage was not written by Fass, a well-known photographer who also has 'Palaces of India' to her credit, but by an IAS officer, Vijay Sharma, and his wife Rita. Ironically, what has been forgotten, in the heat of the moment, is that apart from the magnificent photographs of Shivaji's forts, the book hails his creation of a Maratha nation by rising above caste differences." - India Today, October 31st, 1986.
Click here to order

Finn, Dallas
Meiji Revisited The Sites of Victorian Japan
Weatherhill Inc., New York NY, 1995.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and decorative endpapers; 278pp., with diagrams, monochrome illustrations and 16pp. of full-colour plates. Minor wear. Dustwrapper a little edgeworn. Near fine. During the Meiji period - 1868-1912 - the Japanese laid the foundations for what is now the most advanced nation in Asia. Like Victorian Britain, which served as a potent model, Meiji Japan was characterized by faith in progress, civilization and the growth of empire. The architecture and feats of engineering described and illustrated in this book stand as monuments to the dynamism and ambitions of the age and to Japan's transformation from an isolated feudal society into a modern cosmopolitan nation-state. Factories and schools, palaces and prisons, private homes, churches, hospitals, railways, bridges, canals, shipyards, parks and museums are presented with careful attention to both the nuances of their design and construction and to their broader significance in reflecting and shaping the lives and consciousness of the people who built and used them.
Click here to order

Fraser-Lu, Sylvia
Splendour in Wood: The Buddhist Monasteries of Burma
Weatherhill, Trumbull, 2001.
First edition. Quarto hardcover; dark red boards with silver gilt spine titling, decorated endpapers; 344pp., colour & b&w illustrations. Binding slightly cocked; one or two spots on text block edges; dustwrapper slightly sunned along upper front edge. Very good to near fine; wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Burmese wooden monasteries and related pavilions have not received the scholarly attention that they deserve. This is unfortunate, given the particularly ephemeral nature of wood in a damp tropical climate, with voracious insect life and the ever-present risk of floods, fire and earthquakes. Many extant structures are in a dilapidated condition; either the original donors have moved away or their descendants no longer have adequate financial resources to maintain a forebear's work. The book introduces the reader to the beauty and genius of Burmese craftsmanship as expressed in the construction and embellishment of Buddhist wooden monasteries. For posterity, the details of many wooden monasteries are recorded - not only the "old" and the "beautiful"; but also others with architectural features of note. The text is copiously illustrated with sketches of floor plans and architectural details of many monasteries as well as with photographs of significant features of temple architecture.
Click here to order

Garcetti, Gil
[Frozen Music]
Balcony Press, 2004
Landscape quarto; hardcover; 45pp., with many monochrome illustrations. No dustwrapper as issued. Remainder. New. Moderate wear; front board creased. Very good. Limited edition of 1500 copies. Garcetti has always been an avid urban photographer. During his time as District Attorney in Los Angeles he would carry a small camera with him at all times. After leaving the DA's office, Garcetti focused on art photography, initially producing two collections on the Walt Disney Concert Hall: 'Iron: Erecting the Walt Disney Concert Hall' (Balcony Press, 2002), focusing on the ironworkers who constructed the landmark, and the current volume, 'Frozen Music', focusing on the finished building itself. These photographs interpret the lyrical forms of Frank Gehry's iconic building.
Click here to order

Gaynor, Elizabeth, Kari Havisto & Darra Goldstein
Russian Houses
Benedikt Taschen, Koln Germany, 1994.
Quarto; hardcover; 287pp., with many colour illustrations. Minor wear; previous owner's boookplate to the front pastedown. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. Russian Houses offers an unprecedented look at the architecture and interiors of Ostankino, the Menshikov Palace, and other homes of the princes and czars. The rough-hewn beauty of traditional peasant homes - with their samovars, stoves, and ornate exteriors - is portrayed with knowledgeable and insightful authority. The breathtaking photographs and evocative text guide the reader through the homes of Pasternak, Gorky, Dostoevsky, and other artists and intellectuals. Over 300 full colour photographs.
Click here to order

Gere, Charlotte
Nineteenth Century Decoration The Art of the Interior
Weidenfeld and Nicolson Ltd., London, 1989.
Square quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 408pp., colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; light spotting to the text block edges. Dustwrapper spine slightly faded; small perforation to upper hinge; mild edgewear; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. A perceptive examination of salons, studios, bedrooms, libraries and bathrooms, from the architectural framework to the minutiae of personal taste, provides a fascinating insight into nineteenth century domestic life and the prevailing fashions. From the Neo-Classical to the Gothic, the exotic influences of the East to the eclecticism of the Victorians, Charlotte Gere traces the changing pattern of decoration through the century. In the introduction the author explains the aesthetic and technological developments of the period while in the main body of the book, she presents 500 contemporary illustrations including artists' watercolour designs, engravings from treatises on the design and arrangement of rooms, illustrations from magazines of the period and advertisements from leading firms bringing out the important features of each illustration in her commentary. Finally, in a biographical index she gives details of influential designers and architects.
Click here to order

Glover, Julian
Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain
Bloomsbury Plc., London, 2017.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 416pp., with many colour and monochrome plates. Minor wear. Dustwrapper. Near fine. "Together with victorious generals and admirals, self-made engineers were the heroes of Victorian Britain, exemplary figures to generations of schoolchildren, industrial apprentices and autodidacts. Writers such as Samuel Smiles established the public reputation of these men via popular biographies, in which incidents in childhood often prefigured their later triumphs. These accounts frequently simplified, bowdlerised and partly invented their subjects' lives, but the fact remains that their achievements were truly remarkable. A modern biographer faces the challenge of complicating the hagiographic picture without accidentally diminishing its triumphant effect, and the first thing to say about Julian Glover's biography of the civil engineer Thomas Telford is that, in this fundamental respect, it succeeds very well. Telford was born in 1757 in Eskdale, a remote Scottish valley close to the English border, in a parish that (according to Smiles) was so far removed from progress that it possessed only two tea kettles. His shepherd father died when he was only a few months old. An only child, he was raised by his mother in her cousin's house and left school at 12 to work for a local stonemason. Aged 25, he saddled a horse and rode the 300-odd miles to London, to spend the next half century in a frenzy of work and travel as the designer and builder of so much of the industrial revolution's infrastructure. Britain owes some of its most sublime architecture to him: the elegant 19-span aqueduct at Pontcysyllte; the graceful suspension bridge that took his London to Holyhead highway across the Menai Strait; the majestic flights of locks on the Caledonian canal, which Telford cut through the Highlands to eliminate the roundabout voyage between the west and east coasts. Throughout his life he remained a peripatetic bachelor, hurrying from one job to the next, writing instructions to his subordinates from country inns by candlelight. Glover thinks he may have been 'quite possibly the most mobile' individual in history 'before the coming of the railways'. The Swedish government hired him to plan the Gota canal, which in 1810 was the largest civil engineering project Sweden had ever seen. In Scotland, he led the team of surveyors, engineers and labourers that in a vast, semi-colonial development scheme eventually provided the Highlands with 1,000 new bridges, 1,200 miles of good roads, more than 40 new or improved fishing ports and three dozen churches. As Glover writes: 'The road that carried fishermen to the village and the fish to the cities, the church in which they prayed, the port which landed the herring, and the harbours from which some of them emigrated to new lives in North America: all of them were his.' The poet laureate Robert Southey, who was among Telford's chief admirers and publicists, called him 'the Colossus of Roads' and described his iron bridge over the Spey as 'the finest thing that ever was made by God or man'. When Telford died in 1834, his celebrity earned him a grave in Westminster Abbey, the first engineer to be buried there. How had it happened, this apparently unstoppable progress from shepherd's son to national hero? His energy, ambition and technical daring aren't the whole explanation. Luck, as usual, played its part, and Telford owed a lot of his luck, paradoxically, to the superficially unpromising circumstances of his birth. As Glover observes, a boy of a similar social class born south of the border might not have done so well. As it was, Telford grew up among what Daniel Defoe described as 'the most enlightened peasantry in the world' - a rural working class that Presbyterianism had made literate through its chain of village schools. That applied to most of Scotland; Eskdale's particular advantage lay in its isolation and the small number of people who lived there, which meant that the children of farmworkers mixed with those of the local gentry. Long-lasting friendships were made, one of which secured him the patronage of Sir William Pulteney, the fabulously wealthy civic improver (notably of Bath) who had escaped his Eskdale birthright as a landowner's third son by marrying upwards and taking his wife's name. Pulteney's commissions in Shropshire, including the renovations of Shrewsbury Castle, changed Telford from a mason to an architect. He was made county surveyor and began to develop the mixture of charm and toughness that impressed his growing clientele. He had a slippery, manipulative side that, when it was combined with his ambition, led him to take credit for work that had been done by others. He was, to use JM Barrie's phrase, that impressive sight, a Scotsman on the make. " - Ian Jack
Click here to order

Goldberger, Paul
Building Art The Life and Work of Frank Gehry
Borzoi Books/Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin Random House LLC., New York NY, 2015.
Octavo; hardcover; 514pp., untrimmed, with 8pp. of full-colour plates and many monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. From Pulitzer Prize-winning architectural critic Paul Goldberger: an engaging, nuanced exploration of the life and work of Frank Gehry, undoubtedly the most famous architect of our time. This first full-fledged critical biography presents and evaluates the work of a man who has almost single-handedly transformed contemporary architecture in his innovative use of materials, design, and form, and who is among the very few architects in history to be both respected by critics as a creative, cutting-edge force and embraced by the general public as a popular figure. "Building Art" shows the full range of Gehry's work, from early houses constructed of plywood and chain-link fencing to lamps made in the shape of fish to the triumphant success of such late projects as the spectacular art museum of glass in Paris. It tells the story behind Gehry's own house, which upset his neighbors and excited the world with its mix of the traditional and the extraordinary, and recounts how Gehry came to design the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, his remarkable structure of swirling titanium that changed a declining city into a destination spot. "Building Art" also explains Gehry's sixteen-year quest to complete Walt Disney Concert Hall, the beautiful, acoustically brilliant home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Although Gehry's architecture has been written about widely, the story of his life has never been told in full detail. Here we come to know his Jewish immigrant family, his working-class Toronto childhood, his hours spent playing with blocks on his grandmother's kitchen floor, his move to Los Angeles when he was still a teenager, and how he came, unexpectedly, to end up in architecture school. Most important, "Building Art" presents and evaluates Gehry's lifetime of work in conjunction with his entire life story, including his time in the army and at Harvard, his long relationship with his psychiatrist and the impact it had on his work, and his two marriages and four children. It analyzes his carefully crafted persona, in which a casual, amiable "aw, shucks" surface masks a driving and intense ambition. And it explores his relationship to Los Angeles and how its position as home to outsider artists gave him the freedom in his formative years to make the innovations that characterize his genius. Finally, it discusses his interest in using technology not just to change the way a building looks but to change the way the whole profession of architecture is practised. At once a sweeping view of a great architect and an intimate look at creative genius, "Building Art" is in many ways the saga of the architectural milieu of the twenty-first century. But most of all it is the compelling story of the man who first comes to mind when we think of the lasting possibilities of buildings as art.
Click here to order

Gropius, Walter
Scope of Total Architecture World Perspectives 2
George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London, 1956.
First UK edition: octavo; hardcover, with silver-gilt spine titles and a blind-stamped upper board decoration; 170pp. (+ 6pp. of adverts), top edges dyed blue, with 16pp. of monochrome plates. Moderate wear; boards slightly fanned; text block edges lightly toned. Price-clipped dustwrapper is well-rubbed and worn, with chipping to the flap-turns and spine panel extremities; a large chip from the top edge of the front panel; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. "Since my early youth I have been acutely aware of the chaotic ugliness of our modern man-made environment when compared to the unity and beauty of old pre-industrial towns. In the course of my life I became more and more convinced that the usual practice of architects to relieve the dominating disjointed pattern here and there by a beautiful building is most inadequate and that we must find, instead, a new set of values based on such constituent factors as would generate an integrated expression of the thought and feeling of our time. How such a unity might be attained to become the visible pattern for a true democracy - that is the topic of this book." - Walter Gropius, preface.
Click here to order

Hitchcock, Henry-Russell
Rococo Architecture in Southern Germany
Phaidon Press Ltd., London, 1968.
Quarto; hardcover; 427pp., with many monochrome plates. Minor wear; preliminaries foxed; text block edges spotted; boards rubbed at spine extremities. Dustwrapper a little sunned; creased at edges; minor fraying; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The Rococo is a mode of decoration which reached its culmination in the middle of the eighteenth century throughout most of Europe. From its beginnings in France about 1700 it spread to southern Germany, where it developed and finally flourished as full-scale Rococo architecture. The appeal of this florid and highly decorative architectural style has grown outside Germany in the last forty years so that what once was the cause of amused curiosity is now enthusiastically admired. The development of south German Rococo, as seen through the lives and work of its leading exponents, forms the theme of this book.
Click here to order

Jensen, Robert, & Patricia Conway
Ornamentalism The New Decorativeness in Architecture & Design
Viking/Penguin Books Ltd., London, 1985.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and decorated endpapers; 297pp., with colour illustrations. Mild wear; lightly spotted text block edges. Dustwrapper slightly worn along upper edges and corners; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. Ornamentalism is colour used in surprising ways; it is historical motifs - pediments, pilasters, columns in new incarnations; it is the return of symmetry to architecture with all of its grace and grandeur; it is the use of neon as decoration; it is a renaissance of the handmade ornament, especially stained glass and wrought iron; it is the rediscovery of painted decoration, stencilling, and trompe l'oeil; it is an explosion of natural forms - vines, leaves, flowers and palm trees; it is furniture - humorous and practical - to be looked at as well as used; it is the work of the Pattern Painters who dare cross the line between the decorative detail that aims to arrest our attention, to give the intriguing and delightful.
Click here to order

Kaufmann, Edgar (Introduction by Mark Girouard)
Fallingwater A Frank Lloyd Wright Country House
Cross River Books Ltd./Abbeville Publishing Group, New York NY, 1986.
Quarto; hardcover, with blind-stamped upper board titles and decorative endpapers; 190pp., with colour and monochrome illustrations and a folding colour plan. Minor wear; mild rubbing to lower board edges and corners and light spotting to upper text block edges. Price-clipped dustwrapper with very mild rubbing and edgewear; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good to near fine. In this volume the author has maintained throughout the direct approach of one who knew and loved Fallingwater. As an apprentice and loyal admirer of the architect, Mr. Kaufmann was well attuned to the architecture. And as a retired professor of architectural history and frequent lecturer and panellist, he had considerable experience in presenting and interpreting Wright's ideas. Thoroughly versed in the books, articles, drawings, and buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mr. Kaufmann was eminently situated to place Fallingwater in that context. This unique record was presented in celebration of Fallingwater's fiftieth anniversary. Special features of this volume include: numerous never-before published photographs of the house under construction, during its entire history, and of the family in residence; a room-by-room pictorial survey in full colour taken especially for this volume; isometric architectural perspectives that explain visually how the house was constructed; and the first accurate, measured plans of the house as built.
Click here to order

Laurens, Alain, Daniel Dufour, Ghislain Andre & La Cabane Perchee (Zachary Townsend, trans.; Jacques Delacroix & Daniel Dufour, illus.)
Dream Treehouses
Abrams Books, New York NY, 2016.
Folio; hardcover, with illustrated boards; 240pp., with many diagrams and full-colour illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Fine. French design company "La Cabane Perchee" presents 40 extraordinary treehouses designed and built by the acclaimed team. Featuring houses in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Russia, Italy, Spain, and the United States, Dream Treehouses showcases both exterior and interior images of each house. In addition, the book includes watercolour design drawings and descriptions of how each house was envisioned and built, offering a beautifully and extensively illustrated look into some of the most fantastic treehouses ever created.
Click here to order

Martinelli, Antonio, & George Michell, with Aman Nath
Princely Rajasthan Rajput Palaces and Mansions
The Vendome Press, New York NY, 2004.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 272pp. with many full-colour illustrations. Moderate wear; text block bowed; some mild moisture damage to the text block top corner, mainly concerning the preliminaries; moderate insect damage to the spine and upper board; a small chip to the fore-edge of the flyleaf; some small marks to the front endpapers; top corners bumped. Dustwrapper is mildly rubbed with a small tear along the upper hinge; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. The Rajput principalities of northwestern India were set upon by the invading Mughal armies under Akbar and the territory was divided amongst the victors who began at once to consolidate and extend their territories. Part of this internecine competition involved the creation of palaces and stately homes lavishly decorated in attempts to outdo the neighbouring landlords. The palaces were built and re-built as the contest for sumptuousness reached delirious levels, eventually incorporating foreign motifs - like the clean lines of the European Art Deco movement - before the kingdoms disbanded under the new modern rule and the competition came to an abrupt halt. These buildings are now falling into decay but Antonio Martinelli has captured the lingering echoes of their extravagance in this equally lavish book.
Click here to order

Mathias, David
Greene & Greene Furniture Poems of Wood and Light
F&W Media, Cincinnati OH, 2010.
First edition: quarto; hardcover; 175pp., with many colour illustrations. Mild wear; rubbing to board corners. Slight wear to dustwrapper edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. 'One hundred years ago Charles and Henry Greene developed a new and distinctive architectural and decorative style that blended Arts & Crafts and Asian influences with California sensibility and obsessive attention to detail. That innovative style is instantly recognizable today. David Mathias, author of this richly personal appreciation of the Greenes... comes to Greene and Greene from the perspective of an amateur woodworker with a fine aesthetic sense. Through his writing we are able to appreciate the Greenes' houses and furnishings almost as if we were hearing from one of their builders. Through stunning and perceptive new photography, the illustrated spaces and furnishings illuminate the genius of the Greenes' designs, material selection and craft, which has caused so many to celebrate and be seduced by their work... Being a woodworker, Mathias also pays due homage to John and Peter Hall, the Swedish brothers who worked closely with the Greenes on their finest houses. Mathias correctly grasps how without the Halls, the Greenes would lack a significant measure of the reputation that they enjoy today. Relatively few writers have focused exclusively on Greene and Greene, and so it is a privilege whenever a talented one such as Mr. Mathias comes along. Be forewarned that through this book his seduction may become yours, too." - Edward R. Bosley, James N. Gamble
Click here to order

Morgan, Bret
Rustic Country Houses, Rural Dwellings, Wooded Retreats
Rizzoli, New York NY, 2009.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and illustrated endpapers; 228pp., with many colour illustrations. Very minor wear only. Near fine in like dustwrapper. Rustic architecture is the expression of an aesthetic concerned primarily with the informal beauty of the natural world. Often set upon craggy peaks, on cliffs overlooking wild seas, beside calm riverbanks, or in the depths of old forests, houses in the Rustic Style engage the eye and rouse the poetic soul by means of picturesque siting, evocative landscaping, asymmetrical architectural compositions, and often wonderful vernacular detail that reveals evidence of handmade work, including uneven floor boards, sloping ceilings, rough-hewn and textured surfaces of plaster, stone, rubble, and wood. In Rustic, Bret Morgan illuminates this much-loved style, giving us the definitive volume on the subject. Comprehensive in scope, Rustic features historically important houses from across America, some small-scale, some larger, from the sublime Ames Gates Lodge of 1881 in North Easton, Massachusetts, designed by H. H. Richardson, to the Arcadian masterpiece Ridge House of 2001, in Spokane, Washington, by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen. A beautifully photographed and astutely written volume, Rustic is destined to become a much-cherished companion for those whose love of the woodlands is matched only by a love of home.
Click here to order

Nelson, Pete (photos. Radek Kurzaj)
New Treehouses of the World
Harry Abrams, New York, 2009.
Quarto hardcover; decorated lime green boards with dark red spine titles and blue endpapers; 223pp., colour illustrations. Minor wear only; near fine in like dustwrapper. Since the publication of Treehouses of the World, the community of treehouse builders has grown tremendously, and many more innovative treehouses have been built around the world. In New Treehouses of the World, world-renowned treehouse designer and builder Pete Nelson takes readers on an exciting, international tour of more than 35 new treehouses that reveal how treehouses are designed, constructed, and appreciated in a wide array of cultures and settings... The message that Nelson promotes is simple: As sustainable living issues stand poised to become the most important challenges facing the post-millenial age, the positive power and goodwill that a simple treehouse engenders is of greater importance than ever before.
Click here to order

Okada, Amina, & M.C. Joshi (Jean-Louis Nou, illus.)
Taj Mahal
Abbeville Press, New York NY, 1993.
Quarto; hardcover, with silver gilt spine titling, blind-stamped lower board title and decorated endpapers; 232pp., with many colour illustrations, some folding. Minor wear. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Fine. "An eternal subject never lets itself be depleted since new eyes and viewpoints keep emerging. On the publication of yet another tome on the Taj Mahal, the great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan would only feel honoured in his tomb. This one is the combined work of a scattered trio: posthumously publishing the work of the renowned Indophile photographer Jean-Louis Nou to whom tributes are due in heaven; Amina Okada, a post-medieval Indologist at the Musee Guimet and, Dr M.C. Joshi, ex director of the Archaeological Survey of India. Although there have been a series of Taj books in this genre, the latest publication has carved out a niche for itself. It zooms in closest to the subject, showing the monument with the eye of a connoisseur, bringing alive the eternal spring of the Garden of Paradise. Okada explains how the nomenclature of the Taj Mahal is a deformation of Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan's beloved wife, so that as the 'Taj' it now means 'the Crown of the Palace' rather than 'the Chosen One of the Palace', which was the originally intended name and which actually corresponds to Mumtaz Mahal's name.The esplanade leading to the Taj has also changed names from Mumtazabad - named after Mumtaz Mahal - to Taj Ganj. ..Shah Jahan also came to be buried in the crypt of the Taj, his tombstone adjusted on the right of his wife's. ..Both Okada and Joshi, quoting different Quranic verses inscribed on the Taj conclude that this monumental wonder in its vaporous silhouette was both symbolically and literally intended to be an earthly replica of the Garden of Paradise. The four intersecting canals in the Chahar Bagh are symbolically suggested as the four rivers of Paradise mentioned in the Quran. The ornamental pool as the celestial reservoir of abundance (al-Kawthar). W.E. Begley had already interpreted the Taj as a symbolic substitute for the throne of God, placed by Islamic tradition just above Paradise - particularly since the Taj does not sit in the middle of the well laid out garden surrounding it but on its northern-most point. Some of the inscribed verses on the Taj translate as: 'Enter thou among my servants, and enter thou my Paradise', 'Forgive, then, those who turn in Repentance. And allow them 0 Lord! to enter the Garden of Eden'. This book is a fitting tribute to this eternal monument which fuses and harmonises the Timurid, Indian and European traditions that the trio who have produced this volume represent their specialisation from three ends of tradition." - Aman Nath
Click here to order

Pearson, Lynn
British Breweries An Architectural History
The Hambledon Press, London, 1999.
Royal octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 255p., with many monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. Covering the history of the architecture of breweries, this account ranges from the country house brewhouse of the 18th century to the great breweries of Georgian and Victorian England, which reached their ornate peak in the 1880s and 1890s. It deals with the practical considerations that brewers' architects and engineers had to take into account, as well as the architectural styles and the decorative features employed. The author has also included a gazetteer of brewery architecture.
Click here to order

Peissel, Michel (text and watercolours)
Tibetan Pilgrimage Architecture of the Sacred Land
Abrams, New York, NY, USA, 2005.
Landscape quarto; hardcover, with illustrated boards, red endpapers; 136pp., with many full-colour illustrations. Minor wear only. Near fine in like dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. By combining masonry with the skills of nomad tent-makers, Tibetan architects have produced unique, magnificent buildings that, for too long have remained obscure and underestimated. It took author-illustrator Michel Peissel, who speaks Tibetan, forty-five years and twenty-nine expeditions on foot and on horseback to reach the lesser-known fortresses, chapels, and monasteries that he sketched and painted for this book... (the result) is certain to foster an appreciation for the elegance of Tibetan architecture, confirming the extent of its influence and its remarkable originality. With nearly a hundred watercolour illustrations.
Click here to order

Powell, Robert
The Tropical Asian House
Select Books Pte. Ltd., Singapore, 1996.
Reprint: quarto; hardcover, with upper board titling; 176pp., with many maps, diagrams and full-colour photographic illustrations. Minor edgewear to the boards. Dustwrapper spotted on the verso (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good. The Tropical Asian House explores how cultural influences, tradition, religion, technology, and the forces of globalization fuse together to produce a contemporary tropical architecture. The author focuses on 26 houses from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, India, and Sri Lanka. These houses represent the works of leading architects such as Charles Correa and Geoffrey Bawa as well as others who are searching for their own cultural imprint.
Click here to order

Riley, Terence, & Peter Reed (eds.)
Frank Lloyd Wright: Architect
Museum of Modern Art, New York NY, 1994.
Quarto; hardcover, full cloth boards with upper board titles and decorated endpapers; 344pp., with full colour and monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; light rubbing to board bottom edges; faint spotting to text block top edge. Dustwrapper with slightly sunned spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Undeniably the greatest architect of his time, Frank Lloyd Wright produced a vast body of work that defined and redefined American architecture. This book, published to accompany a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, presents a comprehensive summary of his vision - from the turn of the century until his death in 1959 - and a new assessment of his remarkable achievement.
Click here to order

Silver, Nathan
Lost New York
American Legacy Press/Crown Publishers Inc., New York NY, 1967 (1993).
Reprint: quarto; hardcover, quarter-bound in full cloth; 422pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive archival film. Near fine. In his preface, Mr. Silver remarks that his book 'began as an exhibit at the Columbia University School of Architecture.' 'By 1963,' he continued, 'it seemed urgent to make some sort of plea for architectural preservation in New York City. It had been announced that Pennsylvania Station would be razed, a final solution appeared likely for the 39th Street Metropolitan Opera, and the commercial buildings of Worth Street were being pounded into landfill for a parking lot. I suggested that the collective picture of some vanished first-rate architecture would make a sobering reminder of how much finer a city New York could have been with its all-time best buildings still intact. When the exhibit opened in January 1964, it was still a work in progress. If architecture is somewhat the art of beautiful buildings but fundamentally the art of human use (as I believe), then conservation of good use is a matter of concern for everyone, and conservation is not 'obstructionist' but wise.' Many rare photographs of lost buildings are included with accompanying commentary.
Click here to order

Sitwell, Sacheverell
Great Palaces
Spring Books, London, 1969.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling and illustrated endpapers; 288pp., with colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; previous owner's name in ink; foxing to the preliminaries with some scattered spotting thereafter; mildly toned and faintly spotted text block edges. Four tiny perforations on upper rear panel of dustwrapper; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. Nearly five hundred illustrations in colour and black and white picture the magnificence of thirty palaces and their architecture, decoration, furnishings and art collections. Each of these buildings, large or small, private residence or public museum, remains in perfect condition, each mirrors the tastes and foibles of the great periods of European culture, and each is indelibly stamped with the characters of its most famous inhabitants.
Click here to order

Steele, James (Ersin Alok, illus.)
Hellenistic Architecture in Asia Minor
Academy Editions/Academy Group Ltd., London, 1992.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 252pp., text and maps printed on buff stock, with many full-colour photographic illustrations. Mildly rubbed dustwrapper, now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. This book presents the urbanistic, institutional and architectural legacy of the Hellenistic Age, the highly underrated period of history spanning from the conquests of Alexander the Great to the eventual hegemony of Rome. Promising to revise current attitudes about the degeneration of the classical canon during this period, the legacy is explored from an entirely fresh point of view, objectively comparing its achievements with the earlier Classical aesthetic and citing the positive influence of the exposure to and acceptance of local traditions, encouraged by Alexander. Using detailed descriptions of a majority of the Hellenistic cities in Asia Minor, from the important centres of Ephesus, Pergamon and Sardis to the more remote remains of Termessos and Labranda, the author provides a critical analysis of each. Many of these cities have remained in a remarkable state of preservation because of their inaccessibility and isolation and the descriptions serve to place the substantial tectonic evidence that still exists into a proper historical perspective. The text is accompanied by many rare and beautiful images taken by the renowned Turkish photographer Ersin Alok.
Click here to order

Summerson, John
Georgian London
Barrie & Jenkins, London, 1988.
Quarto hardcover; grey boards with gilt spine titling; 328pp., mainly monochrome illustrations. Faint spotting to upper text block edge; slightly scuffed dustwrapper with minor edgewear (now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film). Very good to near fine. When this book first appeared in 1945, it was acclaimed as a new departure in the writing of architectural and urban history. It has maintained its reputation through the years and been widely influential. As the author confesses in the preface it was not written as an academic exercise but came about as the result of speculative studies which eventually fell into a plausible but unfamiliar image of the Georgian capital. London's architecture is seen here as a product of industry, ambition and sometimes genius, but also as a product of the soil, in the sense that its characteristic combination of streets and squares resulted from development by the great landlords - the Russells, the Grosvenors, the Harleys, the Portmans among others. Across this story run the stories of other initiatives, public and private: churches, museums and prisons built by the state; hospitals by committees of citizens; palaces by men of wealth; bridges by companies of shareholders. All these add up to the total image which is architecture.
Click here to order

Tzonis, Alexander, & Phoebe Giannisi
Classical Greek Architecture The Construction of the Modern
Flammarion, Paris France, 2004.
Large quarto hardcover; black boards with blind-stamped front board and spine titling; 277pp., monochrome illustrations and diagrams. Mild rubbing to dustwrapper with very slight toning to edges; tiny tear on lower edge. Near fine otherwise and wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Emerging out of a unique period of synergy in the Mediterranean, classical Greek architecture established, through a vigorous multicultural synthesis, a new way of construing and constructing space that is still in practice today. This new approach enabled the modern, rational, and dynamic organization of buildings, cities and landscapes. Even more significantly, it set up a precedent and the foundations for an ongoing spirit of creative experimentation in design and a vision of freedom.
Click here to order

Weston, Richard
Utzon Inspiration, Vision, Architecture
Edition Blondal, Hellerup, 2002.
Square folio hardcover; purple cloth boards with white spine title and upper board decoration on lower front corner, black decorated endpapers; 431pp., colour & b&w plates and illustrations. Inscription on title page. A few scattered spots on text block edge. Orange decorated dustwrapper with a tiny tear on upper rear edge, scrape on head of spine panel and otherwise a few tiny chips and wear to edges; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. "His work will live as long as architecture is valued, and his ultimate legacy is ethical, not formal: a way of working, not a repertoire of form." The Sydney Opera House is the most celebrated modern building in the world yet its architect has always shunned publicity and remain the least well known of the major modern architects. Richard Weston's book, subtitled "Inspiration - Vision - Architecture", finally opens the door to Utzon's techniques and creative processes. Observations and anecdotes by Utzon, supplemented with a wealth of sketches and drawings from his personal archives, draws the reader into the amazing visionary world of one of the greatest living architects.
Click here to order

Wilkinson, Philip
Phantom Architecture The fantastical structures the world's great architects really wanted to build
Simon & Schuster UK Ltd./CBS, London, 2017.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles and illustrated endpapers; 256pp., with many colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Near fine. A skyscraper one mile high, a dome covering most of downtown Manhattan, a triumphal arch in the form of an elephant: some of the most exciting buildings in the history of architecture are the ones that never got built. These are the projects in which architects took materials to the limits, explored challenging new ideas, defied conventions, and pointed the way towards the future. Some of them are architectural masterpieces, some simply delightful flights of fancy. It was not usually poor design that stymied them - politics, inadequate funding, or a client who chose a 'safe' option rather than a daring vision were all things that could stop a project leaving the drawing board. These unbuilt buildings include the grand projects that acted as architectural calling cards, experimental designs that stretch technology, visions for the future of the city, and articles of architectural faith. Structures like Buckminster Fuller's dome over New York or Frank Lloyd Wright's mile-high tower can seem impossibly daring. But they also point to buildings that came decades later, to the Eden Project and the Shard. Some of those unbuilt wonders are buildings of great beauty and individual form like Etienne-Louis Boullee's enormous spherical monument to Isaac Newton; some, such as the city plans of Le Corbusier, seem to want to teach us how to live; some, like El Lissitsky's 'horizontal skyscrapers' and Gaudi's curvaceous New York hotel, turn architectural convention upside-down; some, such as Archigram's Walking City and Plug-in City, are bizarre and inspiring by turns.
Click here to order

Wolfe, Tom
From Bauhaus to Our House
Jonathan Cape Ltd., London, 1982.
First UK edition: octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine-titling; 143pp., with monochrome illustrations. Minor wear; long previous owner's inked inscription to the flyleaf; spotting to the text block edges. Mild sunning to dustwrapper spine and light wear to edges. Very good. "A brief tirade against that perennial affront, modernist architecture - and about as clever as the title. Most of this is the usual: the impracticalities of flat roofs and glass boxes, the uplift rhetoric of their designers, the unbuilt (and ill-built) buildings of Le Corbusier, the toney asceticism of Gropius, Mies and the uniform blinds/curtains/shades, the sterile office buildings, the inhuman housing projects, the white-walled conformity of devotees' domiciles - only delivered, this time, not in reproof or in jest, but with a sneer. Wolfe's complaints are two: all of this is consciously, snobbishly 'non-bourgeois' ('the spirit of avant-gardism in the twentieth century'); and it's un-American - i.e., unfaithful to 'the Hogstomping Baroque exuberance of American civilization'. First, insecure American architects rushed to the Bauhaus to study; then, camp-followers Philip Johnson and Henry Russell-Hitchcock heralded the coming of the 'International Style'; then, in 1937, Gropius & Co. actually arrived ('uprooted, exhausted, penniless, men without a country, battered by fate') - and what did we do? We fell on our faces, made them heads of schools, made modernism the new gospel, downgraded Frank Lloyd Wright, outlawed apostates (like Edward Durrell Stone), and built those confounded boxes. Robert Venturi appeared, with Complexity and Contradiction in Modern Architecture (1966) - not to overthrow the non-bourgeois faith, however, but (with his camp historical references) to update it. And as for the Post-Modernists, that's a misnomer: they're still clustered in 'compounds' (a basic modernist trait, allegedly - even Corbu had Iris brother) and still Boxed in. Short as it is, it's a tiresome business, virtually all spleen: to Wolfe, modernism seems to be a species of radical chic. But there will be readers - from among Wolfe's fans and those who still feel threatened by those glass boxes, even after 60 years." - Kirkus Review.
Click here to order

Wood, Margaret (Preface by Sir Mortimer Wheeler)
The English Mediaeval House
Ferndale Editions, London, 1981.
Royal octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 448pp., with a monochrome frontispiece, many monochrome diagrams maps and illustrations and 92pp., of plates likewise. Mild wear; a little shaken; spine extremities lightly softened; text block edges mildly toned. Dustwrapper mildly rubbed and edgeworn; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good. This is the first major work on mediaeval domestic architecture for over a hundred years (that is, since J.H. Parker's "Domestic Architecture of the Middle Ages", 1852-9). It is a volume substantial in content as in appearance, massively and finely illustrated, in every sense worthy of its great subject. The period covered is from the Norman Conquest to 1540. It is only in the last decade that mediaeval archaeology, so long confined to ecclesiastical buildings, has come into its own. After an introductory summary of the recent work on excavation and recording, and a chapter on the main types of mediaeval house, the author devotes a separate chapter to each architectural feature - "The Kitchen", "The Central Hearth", "Windows", and so on. The many examples cited are listed in references at the end of the chapters with their dates. A glossary, bibliography and index are included. This book has established itself as the definitive work on the subject for many years to come.
Click here to order