Ruins of Modernity

Erich Mendelsohn's Hat Factory in Luckenwalde
Essays by Frank Barkow, Kathleen James, John McAslan, Rowan Moore, Ken Powell, Francesca Rogier. Photography: Charles Tashima

This book maps the genesis and decline of a building thought by many to represent a radical break in Mendelsohn's thinking - his first step towards a rational form of expression.

The re-evaluation of the building also provides an opportunity for a debate on the larger issue of the conservation of modern structures. What are we to make of buildings that no longer perform their intended function? Is there a way to carry out a programme of conservation that is not a literal attempt to turn back the clock, to preserve a 'dead' monument? Through texts and speculative projects, Ruins of Modernity explores possible approaches to this increasingly acute problem. The endpiece - a presentation of John McAslan's work on Mendelsohn and Chermayev's Bexhill Pavilion - documents one actual solution.

72 pages, extensive b/w ills
280 x 225 mm, Paperback, 1998

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