White Houses

Thames & Hudson Sept. 2019. 288p. illus. ISBN 9780500519837. $50. ARCH
In Vers une Architecture (1923), architect Le Corbusier listed the signature elements of the international style. However, his five points omit the defining feature of his houses—their thin layers of smooth, whitewashed stucco over concrete. As demonstrated by his design for Villa Savoye, the pristine, white enclosure symbolizes liberation from regional parochialisms and was adapted for residential buildings in locations as disparate as Berlin, Ahmedabad, and Tel Aviv. Champions of the style in the United States, the New York Five—Peter Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk, and Richard Meier—celebrated in 1972’s Five Architects, brought the image of the white house to the forefront and even became known as the Whites. This book assembles 43 architectural descendants, each dramatically photographed.
VERDICT A more substantive introductory essay outlining antecedents—such as Farnsworth, Tugendhat, and Lovell Health Houses
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