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The Victory of the New Building Style

  • Walter Curt Behrendt
    Introduction by Detlef Mertins
    Translation by Harry Francis Mallgrave

    The architect and theorist Walter Curt Behrendt (1884–1945) worked on public housing and urban development as a designer and administrator for the German government after World War I. From 1925 to 1926 he edited the journal Die Form for the German Werkbund and led an articulate and well-orchestrated campaign in support of the Modern Movement. A friend and colleague of Lewis Mumford, he immigrated in 1934 to the United States, where he taught courses on city planning and housing at Dartmouth College and the University of Buffalo.

    The Victory of the New Building Style (1927)—his principal theoretical work in German and the precursor to Modern Building, which he wrote in English—presents a revisionist conception of style that places equal emphasis on form and function. Behrendt calls for architects to return to basic geometries and to articulate explicitly the new social and economic realities. Now available in English for the first time, this incisive treatise boldly advocates international modernism to the general public.

    Detlef Mertins, associate professor of architecture at the University of Toronto, is an architect, historian, and critic; he has written extensively on architectural modernism. Harry Francis Mallgrave translated Otto Wagner's Modern Architecture (Getty Publications, 1988); and is the author of Gottfried Semper: Architect of the Nineteenth Century.

    "A celebration of the unity of art and technology."
    —AA Files

    176 pages
    7 x 10 inches
    97 b/w illustrations
    ISBN 978-0-89236-563-0

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: Getty Research Institute
    Series: Texts & Documents


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