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208 × 156 × 15 mm
224 pages
122 illustrations, 35 in colour
01 Jun 2003
  • £20.00

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Factory Gillian Darley

Despite its long history, the factory has a particular appeal to modern architects, who have often preferred this building type as ‘authentic’ architecture to the grand public buildings and luxury private dwellings of the contemporary city. Many European architects who looked to America for inspiration in the early 20th century were far more excited by the great factories of Detroit than they were by the monuments of New York and Washington, DC.

This book examines the factory in a number of incarnations; as image, as icon, as innovator and as laboratory. It traces the history of the modern factory from the utopian schemes of Robert Owen or Claude Ledoux in the early 19th century, through the great modernist ‘cathedrals of industry’ of Peter Behrens, Albert Kahn and Frank Lloyd Wright, to the post-industrial revival of former factories, such as Renzo Piano’s reconstruction of the Fiat Lingotto factory in Turin, or the landscaped industrial parks created out of former steel mills in the Ruhr area of Germany.

This is the first book in the ‘Objekt’ series, which examines a wide range of iconic modern objects across many design fields, including architecture, industrial design, graphics and fashion. The books are not intended as exhaustive histories of their subject, but are written as thematic and discursive essays, keeping in mind the broader cultural meanings of objects or buildings as much as their intended functions in the modern period.

‘An ideal introduction to the subject, but it also offers fresh insights and draws on a wide of sources to explain how factories were perceived at different times . . . an intelligent, highly relevant and thought-provoking book.’ — Building Design

‘Very handsomely illustrated, this must be the very best survey we have of factory buildings . . . [a] marvellously-told history’ — Architectural Review

‘deftly balances looks and brains with its tale of how the factory came full circle in the West’ — Tom Dyckhoff, The Times

‘Gillian Darleys book Factory [is] a little gem for me and other factoryphiles’ — FX magazine

‘informative and enlightening’ — Architecture Today

‘will delight any reader with a fascination for tales of Victorian success, failure and sheer entrepreneurial gusto’ — Architects Journal

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Gillian Darley is the author of many books, including John Soane: An Accidental Romantic (1999). She appears regularly on television and contributes to the Financial Times and the Times Literary Supplement.

1. Factory as Image
2. Factory as Model: Early Versions
3. Modern Models
4. Factory as Innovator
5. Factory as Icon
6. Factory as Sales Tool
7. Factory as Laboratory or Laboratory as Factory?
Select Bibliography
Photographic Acknowledgements