Corinne Bélier Editor
Marc le Coeur Editor
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2013, English
Nonfiction, Architecture
9.5 x 11.75 inches, hardcover, 232 pages, 225 color illustrations
ISBN: 9780870708398
Suggested Retail Price: $55.00

From the Publisher. Henri Labrouste is one of the few 19th-century architects who have been lionized consistently as precursors of modern architecture throughout the 20th century and into our own time. The two magisterial glass-and-iron reading rooms Labrouste built in Paris from the 1840s through the 1860s gave form to the idea of the modern library as a great collective civic space, and his influence was immediate and long lasting on both the development of the modern library and the exploration of new paradigms of space, materials, and luminosity in places of public assembly.

Published in conjunction with the first exhibition devoted to Labrouste in the United States—and the first anywhere in the world in nearly 40 years—this book is the result of a four-year research project into the entirety of Labrouste’s production. It presents nearly 225 works in a variety of mediums, including drawings, watercolors, vintage and modern photographs, film stills, and architectural models. Essays by a range of international architecture scholars explore Labrouste’s work and legacy, offering fresh historical perspectives on the architect and his structural innovations.

On 2 book lists
Mark Lamster

Labrouste essentially invented the modern public library as a typology when he built the Bibliothèque St. Geneviève and then the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris in the 19th century. These works, detailed with exceptional Beaux Arts precision—as a draftsman, Labrouste had no equal—first celebrated iron as a structural element in works of grand architectural ambition, suggesting that it could be used in typologies that were not only industrial. For this, he has been understood as a proto-modernist. But as Barry Bergdoll notes in this exceptional book, successive generations have adopted Labrouste and interpreted his work to suit their own ideological proclivities. That is likely to happen again, with the library a typology now being reinvented for a new century.

comments powered by Disqus