We won’t even try to hide it - yes, we are a bit of nerds. We love good academic literature and art critics, especially when it’s about modernist architecture and lifestyle.
So, in the midst of the current global health situation, if you’re following the advice to not leave home, we know these days can seem like they drag. Therefore we’ve decided to share some of our recommendations on the books we love and that helped us keep informed on the topic of modernism and the wonders of concrete as a medium.
A History Through Buildings
If modernism spikes your interest even in the slightest, then you’ve probably already come across Owen Hatherley. This is a fantastic book that takes you on a journey of learning about the history of twentieth-century communist Europe through its buildings. It’s basically Owen’s travel journal of his trips to ex-communist countries. Insightful, honest and beautifully written.
A Material History
This is the best and most comprehensive general public book about the impact of concrete as a medium and how it shaped our world today. It explains why and how we got to living in the ‘concrete jungles’ our urban environments have become. Read this and you’ll never look at concrete in the same way.
MARTINO STIERLI AND VLADIMIR KULIĆ
Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980
A fantastic book that accompanied MoMA’s exhibition on architecture in Yugoslavia. If you’d like to get your hands on a very comprehensive intro into the topic, this book is packed with intelligently written and insightful information by the very expert on the topic, Vladimir Kulić, plus numerous essays by other authors. Beautiful architecture imagery by Valentin Jeck comes as a bonus!
Spomeniks are probably the strongest ’trademark’ of the creativity of the architecture in Yugoslavia. And indeed, they are impressive creations and may of them we had the luck to see with our own eyes. Along with the beautiful imagery (which alone is reason enough to have it on your coffee table), finding out more about the background of every monument is what we really enjoyed the most.
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