This first standard work on the past 25 years in postmodern architecture documents a rich and controversial period. It provides a fascinating, clear, and provocative definition of the phenomena of postmodernism, particularly in relation to the major ideas of modernism. Over 500 illustrations, including 96 in full color, are in themselves a substantial record of the aesthetic preoccupations of postmodernist architects, their patrons, and their detractors.
Heinrich Klotz is one of Europe's leading architectural critics. In this panoramic work he challenges popular notions of postmodernism as synonymous with the stylistic license of eclecticism. He seeks to clarify the postmodern in other than stylistic, historic, or regional terms and identifies a long tradition of canonical, "modern" buildings which were breaking ground for what would become "postmodern" long before the word existed. His criteria for what defines postmodern will be challenged, debated, and quoted by historians and architects alike.
Klotz focuses both on architects' individual projects and their work as a whole, combining structural analysis with an assessment of programmatic and philosophical content. "Not only function, but also fiction!": that is the guiding concept of this book. His approach leads quite naturally to a gallery of celebrities from the modern as well as the postmodern period: Mies, Kahn, Venturi, Moore, Ungers, Rossi, Stirling, Hollein, Gehry, Graves, Meier, Hedjuk, Eisenman, Botta, Krier, and Stern among them. Also included are a host of less well-known contemporary practitioners including Rem Koolhas, Thomas Gordon Smith, and Maurice Culot.
Heinrich Klotz is Professor at the University of Marburg and Director of the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt, the most distinguished showcase of contemporary architectural exhibitions in Europe. He is the author of 14 books, founder and editor of Architectura magazine, the Jahrbuch fuer architecktur, and winner of the Schinkel prize of the German Society of Architects.