Jacket Image

Enlarge Image

Dimensions:
220 × 171 mm
288 pages
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781861893796
Illustrations:
190 illustrations
Published:
15 Apr 2013
Series:
Modern Architectures In History

Greece Modern Architectures in History Alexander Tzonis, Alcestis P. Rodi

This book is an unprecedented account of modern architecture in Greece, providing a unique understanding of the development of architectural practice and theory in the context of the country’s political and social history. Alexander Tzonis and Alcestis Rodi present the ambitious Neoclassicist projects thought appropriate for a new nation that followed from the establishment of the Greek state in the 1830s before explaining the rise and stylistic development of civic, school and university buildings in the later nineteenth century and after, as well as notable hotels, factories, offices, private homes, apartment blocks and other building types designed by a variety of Greek architects. The authors also examine built examples of uniquely regional character, works closely related to the natural landscape that are at the same time inherently contemporary. Projects by architects including Pikionis, Konstantinidis, Zenetos, Doxiadis and Valsamakis are discussed alongside designs by many other lesser-known practitioners. This book also accounts for the generic buildings that characterize the present urban landscape, structures dating from the construction boom that straddled the decades after 1945.

With a dramatic backdrop of historical events, from the War for Independence through to World War Two, a civil war, a military dictatorship (1967–74), 1980s party politics and a 1990s consumerist boom followed by a devastating bust, this book provides a thorough critical account of modern and contemporary architecture in Greece. It will be essential reading for cultural historians as well as for architects and urban planners.

‘[Greece] is an evocative volume . . . The 1930s bring in the clean lines of Modernism, although many of the buildings could be anywhere in Europe or beyond. The authors are refreshingly critical on this subject attacking the current “overridingly unadventurous spirit favouring ‘minimalist’ prismatic volumes, ‘clean’ recitilinear planes”. There is searing criticism, too, of the banality of big construction companies, government and multinationals’ – The Times

‘This book is thoroughly researched from wide-ranging archival material, extensively illustrated and knowingly written from an insider’s perspective. Spanning from the 1820s to the present, the narrative never breaks stride, skilfully intertwining the political history of a modernizing nation with that of its architectural development. Major figures like Pikionis and Doxiadis are strongly present, but so also are many less well-known architects, giving the book the balance, breadth and authority of a very welcome text.’ – Peter G. Rowe, Raymond Garbe Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, and Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor

Show all

Alexander Tzonis is Professor of Architecture at Tsinghua University, China, and Professor Emeritus at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. His numerous books include Le Corbusier: Poetics of Machine and Metaphor (2001).

Alcestis P. Rodi is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Patras, and a practising architect in Athens.