Archives for category: essential books

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Josef Albers: Minimum Media, Maximum Effect offers a new comprehensive monograph focusing on the artist’s abiding concern for clarity and simplicity. This selection of works demonstrates the continuity of Albers’ austere and luminous vision throughout his prolific artistic output. An output that  ranged from furniture design and figurative line drawing to engraving and painting, including his renowned Homage to the Square.

This substantial, 362-page survey covers some 170 works, archival documents such as Albers’ notes and journals, and dozens of essays and scholarly discourses on art, pedagogy and philosophy.

It is available here.

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Donald Olsen: Architect of Habitable Abstractions

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New title from William Stout Publishers

Written by Pierluigi Serraino

The purist houses of Donald Olsen stand out as remarkably durable achievements among the post-war architectural heritage of the San Francisco Bay Area. Inspired by the curriculum that Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer brought from Germany’s Bauhaus to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Olsen’s designs were deeply rooted in the Modern Movement in 20th century Europe, and the architect remained committed to this aesthetic all his life. Olsen’s allegiance to these ideals drove his personal and professional itinerary, and sustained him as both an architect and an educator at the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Richly illustrated with drawings, plans, and photographs, this book fully documents these little known examples of high modernism in Northern California.

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(ms) solano

Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscape

Edited and with text by Jean-Louis Cohen. Text by Mardges Bacon, Tim Benton, Barry Bergdoll, Maristella Casciato, Edmond Charrière, Carlos Comas, Catherine Dumont d’Ayot, Marie-Jeanne Dumont, Romy Golan, Genevieve Hendricks, Guillemette Morel Journel, Juan José Lahuerta, Jorge Francisco Liernur, Jacques Lucan, Niklas Maak, Caroline Maniaque-Benton, Mina Marefat, Mary McLeod, Danièle Pauly, Antoine Picon, Claude Prelorenzo, Josep Quetglas, Enrique Ramirez, Bruno Reichlin, Arthur Rüegg, Jacques Christopher Schnoor, Marida Talamona, Yannis Tsiomis, Anthony Vidler, and Stanislaus von Moos.

The largest exhibition ever produced on Le Corbusier’s prolific oeuvre, encompassing his work as architect, interior designer, artist, city planner, writer and photographer. Including his watercolors, sketches, paintings, photographs and models. Reflecting the geographic extension of his designs and built works as well as his indefatigable wanderlust, the book is structured as an atlas, with topographical entries allowing for the discovery of the major sites and cities where Le Corbusier worked. This lavishly illustrated volume presents a wholly unique way to explore the life and work of one of the most important visionaries of our time.

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(m.s. solano)

A new series of posts that plan on showcasing books we consider essential at William Stout Architectural Books, and have become our best sellers over the years.
This is the first of many lists.


Gaston Bachelard – The Poetics of Space: The Classic Look at How we Experience Intimate Spaces
Bachelard’s 1958 lyrical exploration of home.


Gaston Bachelard – The Psychoanalysis of Fire
Written in 1938, Bachelard’s book was a major inspiration for Yves Klein and his fire paintings.


Christopher Alexander – A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
Alexander’s classic 1977 book written with Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel.
A working document for Alexander’s new theory of architecture, building, and planning, which allows lay persons to design for themselves.


Italo Calvino – Invisible Cities
1972 novel, that because of its approach to the imaginative potentialities of cities, has been used by architects and artists to visualize how cities can be, their secret folds, where the human imagination is not necessarily limited by the laws of physics or the limitations of modern urban theory.


Kenneth Frampton – Modern Architecture: A Critical History
Frampton’s essential history of modern architecture, written in 1980 and now in the fourth edition.


Johann Friedrich Geist – Arcades: The History of a Building Type
Geist seminal study of lat 18th and 19th century arcades, passages, and galleries in Europe and America.
other versions : 1 & 2


Sigried Giedion – Space, Time & Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition
Reprint Giedion’s 1941 classic discussion of Wright, Gropius, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Aalto, & Utzon, Sert, Tange and Maki in the new edition.


Herman Hertzberger – Lessons for Students in Architecture
Edited versions of lectures given in Delft since 1973, now a classic work of introductory design theory.


Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson – The International Style
Redesigned version of the classic MoMA catalogue with work by Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and dozens of others from Europe and the United States.
hardcover available as well.


Steven Holl, Juhani Pallasmaa and Alberto Pérez-Gómez – Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture
New edition published by William Stout Publishers, features 3 essays with each writer explaining the role that human perception and phenomenological experience plays in architecture.
Original version available as well.


Spiro Kostof and Gregory Castillo – A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals
2nd edition of the highly praised history by the late Berkeley professor, revised and expanded by his literary executor with many new or revised drawings by Richard Tobias.


John Loomis – Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools
Updated edition of Loomis’ study of Cuba’s Las Escuelas Nacionales de Arte, constructed from 1961 to 1965.


William Rees Morrish – Civilizing Terrains: Mountains, Mounds and Mesas
William Stout Publisher’s reprint of Morrish’s sketchbook containing an anthology of historical archetypes drawn from the American landscape.
Original version available as well.


Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow – On Weathering : the Life of Buildings in Time
Illustrates the complex nature of the architectural project by taking into account its temporality, linking technical problems of maintenance and decay with a focused consideration of their philosophical and ethical implications.


Bernard Rudofsky – Architecture Without Architects: A Short Introduction to Non-Pedigreed Architecture
Reprint of the 1964 MoMA catalogue on the beauty of “primitive” architecture by architect, engineer, and critic Bernard Rudofsky.
MoMA version available as well.


Jun’ichiro Tanizaki – In Praise of Shadows
Classic essay on the Japanese sense of beauty by the novelist Tanizaki, with a forward by Charles Moore.


Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour – Learning from Las Vegas
The 1972 calling for architects to be more receptive to the tastes and values of “common” people and less immodest in their erections of “heroic,” self-aggrandizing monuments.


Robert Venturi – Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture
“Probably the most important writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbusier’s ‘Vers Une Architecture’, of 1923.” Vincent Scully.
Also available : 1 & 2 & 3

ms (solano)