Reyner Banham
University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1999, 1996, English
Nonfiction, Architecture
ISBN: 9780520219441

From the Publisher. Few 20th-century writers on architecture and design have enjoyed the renown of Reyner Banham. Born and trained in England and a U.S. resident starting in 1976, Banham wrote incisively about American and European buildings and culture. This book presents a chronological cross section of essays, polemics, and reviews drawn from more than three decades of Banham's writings.

The volume, which includes discussions of Italian Futurism, Adolf Loos, Paul Scheerbart, and the Bauhaus as well as explorations of contemporary architecture by Frank Gehry, James Stirling, and Norman Foster, conveys the full range of Banham's belief in industrial and technological development as the motor of architectural evolution. Banham’s interests and passions ranged from architecture and the culture of pop art to urban and industrial design. In brilliant analyses of automobile styling, mobile homes, science fiction films, and the American predilection for gadgets, he anticipated many of the preoccupations of contemporary cultural studies. Los Angeles, the city that Banham commemorated in a book and a film, receives extensive attention in essays on the Santa Monica Pier, the Getty Museum, Forest Lawn cemetery, and the ubiquitous freeway system. Essays selected by Mary Banham, with a foreword by Peter Hall.

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Deborah Berke

I first discovered Banham through his incredible book on Los Angeles. As a New Yorker I appreciated the way he parsed and explained that city. However, as a way to connect with Banham’s broader architectural thinking and insights, this book of collected essays is the one to dip into.

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