Ornament is Crime

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Feeling the love for Le Corbusier, mad for Mies van der Rohe? Then you may well want to get your Modernism-loving mitts on the latest tome from those savvy Modern House lads Albert Hill and Matt Gibberd.

João Batista Vilanova Artigas: Casa Vilanova Artigas, São Paolo, Brazil, 1949. Picture credit: © Leonardo Finotti
 
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 Tadao Ando: House in Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, 2011. Picture credit: Toshiyuki Yano  

Described as ‘a celebration and a thought-provoking reappraisal of modernist architecture’, Ornament is Crime: Modernist Architecture takes you on a journey across 224 pages of iconic houses from the 1920s to architects working today. Peppered with quotes from everyone from Leonard Cohen to Russian artist and theorist Kasimir Malevich, the book is a passionate Modernist manifesto from two people who really know their Villa Savoye from their Brno. 

 

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 Adolf Loos: Villa Müller, Prague, Czech Republic, 1930. Picture credit: Vaclav Sedy

 

Albert Hill, erstwhile journalist for i-D and Wallpaper and Matt Gibberd, former senior editor at World of Interiors magazine and grandson of celebrated Modern Movement architect Sir Frederick Gibberd, tap into their passion for brick and Beton Brut. When Hill and Gibberd founded The Modern House in 2004, the exclusive estate agency focused on the property porn end of property pawning with its Midcentury Modern and Modernism-appreciating aesthetic.

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Šebo Lichý Architects: House Among the Trees, Bratislava, Slovakia, 2013. Picture credit: Photo © Tomáš Manina

Launched at Midcentury Modern®, fans of the earlier shows may remember the Modern House team carrying placards and handing out brochures at Christison Hall in Dulwich. They have since gone from strength to strength with an impressive roster of houses which we at Modern Shows® are occasionally allowed to style.

The Modern House party in b:w

Albert top right and Matt bottom left. An original Marcel Breuer Isokon Long Chair on display.

 As you would expect from two people who bend more to the minimal than maximal their launch party was a very civilised affair at The Isokon Gallery last week. Created in collaboration with owner Jack Pritchard and architect Wells Coates in 1934, the gallery celebrates the story of the building that became a hub for Bauhaus designers and architects escaping from the Nazis, including Laszlo Moholy Nagy, Marcel Breuer and the head of the Bauhaus school Walter Gropius. A gem for lovers of Modernism, it spreads the love of the Isokon experiment for liberated urban living by opening for free most weekends.

Pick up your copy of  Ornament is Crime: Modernist Architecture in the Isokon shop or order direct from publisher Phaidon for £29.95. 

  

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Ornament is Crime: Modernist Architecture 

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