The Elements of Modern Architecture Understanding Contemporary Buildings


  • By Antony Radford  (Author), Amit Srivastava  (Author), Selen B Morkoc (Author)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson; 1 edition (17 June 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500342954
  • ISBN-13: 9780500342954
  • Product Dimensions: 30.7 x 4.1 x 22.9 cm

Fifty of the world’s greatest modern buildings, from 1950 to the present, dissected and analyzed through specially commissioned freehand drawings

After a period in which computation-derived architecture—driven by digital design tools, data analysis, and new formal expression—has thrived, students and their teachers have returned to age-old techniques before employing the digital tools that are a part of every architect’s studio. Tired of the perfectly rendered screen image, architects are making presentations that are clearly the work of the hand and the mind, not the computer.

This ambitious publication, organized chronologically, is aimed at a new generation of architects who take technology for granted, but seek to further understand the principles of what makes a building meaningful and enduring. Each of the fifty works of architecture is presented through detailed consideration of its site, topology, and surroundings; natural light, volumes, and massing; program and circulation; details, fenestration, and ornamentation. Over 2,500 painstakingly hand-drawn images of the buildings of the past seven decades help readers return to the core values of understanding site and creating buildings: looking with the eyes, engaging through direct physical experience, and constructing by hand.


About the Author

Anthony Radford is an urban designer and Emeritus Professor of Architecture at The University of Adelaide, Australia. His recent books include Understanding Sustainable Architecture and Digital Design: A Critical Introduction.

Amit Srivastava is an architectural historian based at the University of Adelaide.

Selen B. Morkoç is a writer and critic who has practiced and taught architecture and theory in Australia and Turkey.