The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture. The Uncompleted Project
Artist(s): Colin St John Wilson
Author(s): Colin St John Wilson
Year published: 2007
Publisher: Black Dog Publishing
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 192
Illustrations: b&w photographs throughout
Out of stock
The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture: The Uncompleted Project is a re-edition of an essential work by Colin St John Wilson, architect of the British Library and one of the most eminent voices in architectural theory and practice of the last 50 years. Re-edited and re-designed to Wilson’s specifications, and with a new introduction by architect and writer Ellis Woodman, this indispensable title is here made available to a new readership.
In The Other Tradition St John Wilson sets out to examine the underlying themes of modern architecture, assessing their impact, influence, and continuing development. Rather than positioning Modernism as a completed historical moment that occurred in the past (and that was formulated in terms of abstract theory and in no way responding to the historic role of architecture as a practical art and the unpredictable necessities of life), Wilson argues for a continuing tradition, an “uncompleted project”, sustained against CIAM’s rigid orthodoxy by a “resistance movement” exemplified by architects such as Alvar Aalto, Hans Scharoun, Hugo Häring and Frank Lloyd Wright. Figures like Aalto and Scharoun couldn’t compete with Le Corbusier’s powers on the soapbox and showed little inclination to do so. In a sense, The Other Tradition, is the manifesto that these laconic masters never wrote.
Drawing upon philosophy, history, art and architectural theory, the story of Modernist architecture is here explored both theoretically and through comparative case studies. Professor Wilson’s original, insightful and passionate text is accompanied by photographs, plan drawings, sketches and models that further elucidate his argument. As important now as it was when first published The Other Tradition of Modern Architecture: The Uncompleted Project is a handsome re-edition of a seminal work.