Review: Modern Architecture Since 1900

by William J.R. Curtis

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Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but you may be able to find a used copy online.

Rather than focus a single volume on the entire history of architecture, Curtis has narrowed the content of this book down to a bit less than 100 years of architecture.  Modern Architecture Since 1900 covers all of the major movements and styles in architecture up through the mid-1990s.

While Curtis covers the major movements and works of architecture from the 1900s, it is clear that he takes a liking to the work of Le Corbusier. Corb's work appears throughout the volume in a number of chapters. Admittedly, Le Corbusier was one of the most important architects of the era and deserves significant coverage, but we wonder if his work is over-represented in the volume.

William Curtis is careful to acknowledge the different critiques of the movements and to describe how those critiques affected the progression of architectural thought. The book reads as a journey from one movement to the next with clear and concise descriptions of the projects and ideas; although, occasionally Curtis gets caught up in architectural jargon.

The book is a definitive volume that comes in at just under 700 glossy pages. Almost every page has a photograph or drawing and many of the photos are in color.  Modern Architecture Since 1900 is often used as a History text in undergraduate architecture schools, but also tends to become part of an architect's reference library. highly recommends Modern Architecture Since 1900.

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Article Updated: January 15, 2022

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