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Sanctioning Modernism

Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities

Edited by Vladimir Kulic, Timothy Parker, and Monica Penick

Publication Year: 2014

With new research on building programs in political, religious, and domestic settings in the United States and Europe, this collection of essays offers a fresh look at postwar modernism and the role that architecture played in constructing modern identities.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: Roger Fullington Series in Architecture

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

Just when an idea or a movement seems to have run its course, or merely run out of steam, a new mind and set of eyes come along and make it fresh again. Such is the case with Sanctioning Modernism, where three young scholars have brought together a new perspective on the Modern Movement. This triad—Vladimir...

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pp. ix-xii

This book is the product of an eponymous symposium held at the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. The organizers of the symposium—now the editors of this volume—were, at the time, doctoral students in Architectural History. We were all engaged in separate research projects...

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pp. xiii-xiv

Many people contributed to making this book possible. First of all, we owe thanks to the faculty and staff of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. Dean Frederick Steiner and Anthony Alofsin generously supported the project from the very start and helped us obtain the funding for the “Sanctioning...

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Introduction. Writing History: Reflections on the Story of Midcentury Modern Architecture

Dennis P. Doordan

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pp. 1-6

In a park-like setting along New York City’s East River the United Nations stands proudly as an enduring symbol of . . . what? Today the UN buildings are assailed by some as the sinister architectural symbol of a new world order that threatens to strip nations of sovereign control over their own affairs. For others, the pristine...

Part I. Modernism and the State

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Vladimir Kulić

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pp. 8-10

During the two decades following World War II, various political entities across the world adopted modernist architecture in its different guises both for representational purposes and as an instrument of modernization....

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1. Bucharest: The City Transfigured

Juliana Maxim

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pp. 11-36

On an April morning . . . a group of young architects and workers strolled through the [Floreasca district] around Rachmaninoff Street, which had once been deserted. They passed through three large plazas, through wide interior courts, which opened towards perspectives similar to Renaissance architectural...

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2. The Scope of Socialist Modernism: Architecture and State Representation in Postwar Yugoslavia

Vladimir Kulić

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pp. 37-65

Apart from the fact that they were both prominent architects in socialist Yugoslavia, at first sight, Vjenceslav Richter (1917–2002) and Bogdan Bogdanović (1922–2010) do not seem to have much in common. The former was an avantgardist known for light, cool, geometricized structures that explored the limits...

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3. Czechoslovakia's Model Housing Developments: Modern Architecture for the Socialist Future

Kimberly Elman Zarecor

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pp. 66-89

In the aftermath of World War II, Czechoslovakia began a process of national transformation and reconstruction that ultimately led to more than forty years of Communist Party rule. During the war and immediate postwar years, its multiethnic population became more homogeneous with the decimation of the...

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4. Sanctioning Modernism and Tradition: Italian Architecture, the Vernacular, and the State

Michelangelo Sabatino

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pp. 90-107

From the early 1920s to the late 1950s the dialectic of modernism and tradition, whether classical or vernacular, characterized the Italian state’s architectural patronage.¹ This essay investigates post–World War II state-sponsored building initiatives, mainly housing, and the architectural debates accompanying their...

Part II. Making Religion Modern

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Timothy Parker

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pp. 109-112

The essays in this section address a phenomenon that, from certain points of view regarding modern identity, remains virtually invisible. A long-standing trope of modernity is that it emerges insofar as religion...

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5. Uncertainty and the Modern Church: Two Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Britain

Robert Proctor

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pp. 113-138

The 1960s witnessed the most significant changes in the history of the Roman Catholic Church (and, arguably, in Christianity) since at least the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. A major liturgical reform was announced at the Second Vatican Council of 1962 to 1965 and was subsequently implemented throughout...

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6. "Humanly sublime tensions": Luigi Moretti's Chiesa del Concilio (1965–1970)

Timothy Parker

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pp. 139-167

In 1967, Luigi Moretti (1907–1973)¹ published in Fede e Arte a pointed essay, “Where two or three are gathered in my name . . . (Matthew 18:20),” concerning the “great perplexity” facing architects of new churches in the wake of the sea change that was the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965).² Observing the “dangerous...

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7. Modernism and the Concept of Reform: Liturgy and Liturgical Architecture

Richard Kieckhefer

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pp. 168-180

On the face of it, the rise of modern church architecture appears closely linked to the development of liturgical reform. Both were anticipated in Western Europe shortly before World War I, became discernible movements after that war, gained mainstream adherence after World War II, and became canonical if not virtually...

Part III: Modernism and Domesticity

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Monica Penick

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pp. 182-185

During World War II and in the two decades that followed, scores of architects were engaged in the design of the postwar house, a building type that offered extraordinary opportunities and unprecedented challenges. In...

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8. "Technologically" Modern: The Prefabricated House and the Wartime Experience of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

Hyun-Tae Jung

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pp. 186-218

Mid-twentieth-century American architecture has been considered a degenerate outgrowth of modern European architecture. It is believed that the overwhelming influences of the era’s corporate and consumer culture impeded the proper transplant of modern architecture on American soil. One of the most influential architectural...

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9. "Modern but not _too_ modern": House Beautiful and the American Style

Monica Penick

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pp. 219-243

In May 1950, House Beautiful’s editor-in-chief Elizabeth Gordon announced a new brand of postwar architecture: the “American Style.”¹ In a full-color feature, complete with a nine-point manifesto, Gordon presented the American Style as a cohesive set of design principles with identifiable aesthetics and an adherent set...

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10. House and Haunted Garden

Sandy Isenstadt

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pp. 244-268

In the opening scene of The Birds, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller, Melanie Daniels, played by Tippi Hedren, meets Mitch Brenner, played by Rod Taylor, in a pet shop in San Francisco, where they admire a pair of lovebirds in a cage. In light of what follows—birds ravaging a small town up the California coast—the lovebirds...

Further Reading

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pp. 269-273


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pp. 274-276


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pp. 277-290

E-ISBN-13: 9780292760646
E-ISBN-10: 0292760647
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292757257
Print-ISBN-10: 0292757255

Page Count: 304
Illustrations: 89 b/w illustrations
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Roger Fullington Series in Architecture