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New Left Review I/19, March-April 1963


Robert Maxwell

Spatial Responsibility

A Guide to Modern Architecture: Reyner Banham. Architectural Press, 42/-.

Picture-books on architecture are generally meant for students of architecture or for maiden aunts, are either too expert or inexpert. Here is a guide which is explicitly directed at the intelligent lay public, written by an expert in the subject for experts in other subjects. This is something which needed doing, and Banham has tackled the project with his usual zest. The result is a personal selection of some 40 key examples of modern buildings, described and assessed with the aid of 93 photographs and 10 diagrams, and a short text. Some of the photographs are below par (pp. 55, 78, 109) and some are rather small; but although lusher volumes have been seen, this book makes a compact and informed handbook, which many architects will probably be sending to their clients instead of Christmas cards this year.

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