Architecture Planning and Preservation Modern Architecture in Latin America
by
Kathryn O'Rourke
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 February 2020
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780190922467-0021

Introduction

The definitions of “Latin America” and “modern architecture” have long been debated, are routinely contested, and are increasingly inclusive. For the purposes of this bibliography, “Latin America” refers to the geographical area south from the US–Mexico border region to the southern tip of the Americas in Chile and Argentina. It includes Brazil and the Spanish-speaking parts of the Caribbean. “Modern architecture” refers to buildings built beginning around 1900 through approximately 1975. The unevenness of architectural production across, and scholarship on, Latin American countries generally tracks their relative size and wealth, with Mexico and Brazil having the greatest volume of buildings and books. The cultural, economic, ecological, and political diversity of Latin America, along with the sheer size of the territory and the different historical experiences of people within the region rightly cause scholars to venture generalizations with considerable caution. Nevertheless, it is possible to identify some formal patterns and recurring themes. Formally, architecture here followed roughly the same trajectory as it did in western Europe and the United States: historicist styles dominated early in the century, with some art nouveau influence; stripped rationalism and Art Deco, often with pronounced classicist characteristics, followed. The expansion of modernist idioms at mid-century, particularly in Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela and often in ways that prominently incorporated murals, mosaics, sculpture, and landscape design drew international attention. The trend toward large-scale, visually massive works and an increased use of exposed concrete and brick defined later decades. Internationalism—borne in the formal and theoretical influences of European architecture, supported by study of foreign developments via journals, nurtured in architects’ travels and professional exchanges, and vitalized through European emigration to the region—frequently mixed with consideration of the particularities of regional or national cultures and conditions. Three major themes dominated architecture: history, social concern and underdevelopment, and the relationship of cosmopolitan urban centers (most often capital cities) to rural areas and vernacular typologies. These themes were frequently bound up with debates about race, class, national culture, and modernization. Internal migration and rapid urbanization in the mid- and late 20th century fueled new planning schemes and much new building. Although private patronage was important, many of modern Latin America’s major works were publicly funded. Politics underlay numerous commissions, while explicit political aims shaped others. In many instances modernist forms functioned as aspirational expressions of states’ modernizing ambitions rather than as aesthetic responses to industrialization.

Multicountry Regional Surveys of Architecture

The seeming impossibility of adequately conveying the diversity and complexity of Latin American modernism has shaped the contours of much scholarship that takes a regional view. Within such texts, Mexico and Brazil tend to receive the greatest attention, while Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, and Cuba are often well represented. Research on Latin American architecture has increased dramatically since the start of the 21st century and is increasingly narrow in focus, but earlier texts remain important sources. Coverage of the various countries is uneven and varied in focus and methodology. Enormous amounts remain to be discovered and analyzed. Archival holdings tend to be spotty. Architectural and even trade journals can be significant sources of basic information as well as serving as troves of primary material; Gutiérrez 2001 is a good guide to these. Carranza and Lara 2015 succeeds in covering much ground and many major buildings, figures, and ideas with tightly focused, object-oriented introductions to major works. Bullrich 1969 is much narrower in scope, while still covering multiple countries and architects. Reference work-like Arquitectura Latinoamericana en el siglo XX attempted to survey the field in very broad terms.

  • Bullrich, Francisco. New Directions in Latin American Architecture. New York: George Brazilier, 1969.

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    Brief but detailed and illustrated account of developments chiefly in South America from the 1940s to the 1960s. Significant in reintroducing English-language audiences to Latin American modernism.

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  • Carranza, Luis E., and Fernando Luiz Lara. Modern Architecture in Latin America: Art, Technology, and Utopia. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015.

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    The major text on 20th-century architecture in Latin America. Rather than attempting to shape a unified narrative, the authors deal with the diversity within their topic by organizing material chronologically and thematically and treating major buildings, theoretical texts, and events as singular, but related cases. The approach makes visible historical parallels and the interpenetration of aesthetic, technological, and social concerns across borders. Includes excerpts of important primary sources.

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  • Gutiérrez, Ramón. Revistas de arquitectura de América Latina, 1900–2000. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Nueva Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad Politécnica, 2001.

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    Valuable guide to 20th-century architectural journals published throughout Latin America. Entries include names of publishers and publication dates. Includes Central America and the Caribbean; organized by country.

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  • Gutiérrez, Ramón, ed. Arquitectura Latinoamericana en el siglo XX. Barcelona: Lunwerg, 1998.

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    Part survey of styles, themes, influences, and central concerns; part reference work in the manner of dictionary with entries on major architects, institutions, terms, and journals. Includes essays on broad themes of technology, architects, housing, and social concern in Latin American architecture.

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Anthologies and Exhibition Catalogues

Museum exhibitions and the catalogues published in conjunction with them have been important in bringing new scholarship on Latin American architecture to international audiences. They are also of growing historiographical interest. The Museum of Modern Art in New York, with its historical strengths in both Latin American art and modern architecture, has been the foremost among museums in this research and its dissemination. Hitchcock 1955 and Latin America in Construction, 1955–1980 were published in conjunction with two major exhibitions there. Both shows presented panoramic views of regional developments; the latter is notable for, among other things, its transparency about the practical and conceptual difficulties of its undertaking. Goodwin 1943 (cited under Brazil: Surveys and Thematic Studies) accompanied the museum’s important 1943 exhibition on Brazil. It is one of several catalogues associated with nationally or thematically focused exhibitions cited elsewhere in the bibliography. Anthologies of essays on different topics or countries throughout Latin America have similarly attempted to cover multiple countries and include diverse perspectives. Quantrill 2000 and Eduardo and Marques 2007 are among these.

  • Bergdoll, Barry, Carlos Comas, Jorge Francisco Liernur, and Patricio del Real. Latin America in Construction, 1955–1980. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2015.

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    Catalogue that accompanied the major exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Texts by scholars throughout the region and a huge variety of archival images and materials convey the diversity and breadth of subject. With the title, they acknowledge the challenge of shaping a unified narrative. Extensive bibliography, organized by country, and updated should be a first stop for scholars beginning a new project.

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  • Eduardo, Carlos Dias Comas, and Sergio Marques, eds. A Secunda Idade do Vidro: Tranparência e Sombra na Arquitetura Moderna do Cone Sul Americano—1930/1970. Porto Alegre, Brazil: Editora UniRitter, 2007.

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    Collection of essays by scholars based in Southern Cone countries that followed a Docomomo symposium on the handling of light in modern buildings. Authors examine the historic preoccupations with climate and sunlight modulation in histories of South American modernism. Many essays concern Brazil, but several deal with Argentina and Chile.

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  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell. Latin American Architecture since 1945. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1955.

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    Accompanied exhibition of the same title at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955. Hitchcock’s introductory essay attempted to characterize developments in relation to historical works, convey the diversity of buildings, and introduce readers to the major architects and projects of the post-war period. Heavily illustrated. Of major historiographical interest.

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  • Quantrill, Malcolm, ed. Latin American Architecture, Six Voices. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2000.

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    Brief introductions to the work of Eladio Dieste, Christian de Groote, Ricardo Legorreta, Rogelio Salmona, Jesús Tenreiro-Degwits, and Clorindo Testa. Six representative buildings by each architect are profiled.

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Primary Sources

The growing rate of publication or republication of primary source material in anthologies and databases continues to facilitate research. There are relatively few collections that compile texts from throughout the entire region. Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art and Bayón and Gasparini 1977 are among them.

  • Bayón, Damián, and Paolo Gasparini. Panorámica de la arquitectura latino-americana. Barcelona: Editorial Blume, 1977.

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    Interviews with leading architects in ten countries: Clorindo Testa (Argentina), Roberto Burle Marx (Brazil), Rogelio Salmona (Colombia), Fernando Salinas (Cuba), Emilo Duhart (Chile), Pedro Ramírez Vázquez (Mexico), Carlos Colombino (Paraguay), José García Bryce (Peru), Eladio Dieste (Uruguay), Carlos Raúl Villanueva (Venezuela); 233 photographs. Published in English as The Changing Shape of Latin American Architecture, translated by Galen D. Greaser (Chichester, UK: Wiley, 1979).

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  • Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art. Houston: International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts.

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    Digital archive of primary source documents organized and maintained by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Focus is on nonarchitectural arts, but some writings by Latin American architects are included. Continuously updated. Digital registration required to download materials.

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Multicountry Regional Surveys of Urbanism

The explosive growth of Latin American capitals at midcentury, the design of entirely new cities such as Brasilia, and the sprawl of metropolitan areas later in the century, coupled with pronounced socioeconomic inequalities in most big cities, has made urbanism a major focus of architects, planners, and scholars. In design and scholarship the lines between urbanism and architecture have often blurred. Attempts to survey Latin American urbanism broadly have mostly taken the form of anthologies; exceptions include Violich 1944, which was one of the first texts on Latin American urbanism, and López Rangel and Segre 1986. Historical assessments of urban history and planning can be found in Almandoz 2002 and Lejeune 2006, an exhibition catalogue. The issue of informality and unplanned metropolitan growth in multiple countries is taken up by authors in Hernández, et al. 2010. Biron 2009 is a multidisciplinary collection of essays dealing with a variety of issues in Latin American cities. On Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, see Evenson 1973 and Holston 1989 (cited under Brazil: Urbanism and Landscape Architecture).

  • Almandoz, Arturo, ed. Planning Latin America’s Capital Cities, 1850–1950. London: Routledge, 2002.

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    Essays by scholars throughout the Americas. Topics include urban planning theory, historical developments of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janiero, Sao Paulo, Santiago de Chile, Lima, Mexico City, Caracas, Havana, and San José. Emphasis on the influences of European, and especially Beaux-Arts planning approaches to urban design.

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  • Biron, Rebecca, ed. City/Art: The Urban Scene in Latin America. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2009.

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    Anthology of essays by Latin American experts in architecture, anthropology, philosophy, and literary and cultural criticism. Topics include form, identity, geography, circulation, art and visual culture in an urban context, and sprawl. Among the contributors are Néstor García-Canclini and George Yúdice.

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  • Hernández, Felipe, Peter Kellett, and Lea K. Allen, eds. Rethinking the Informal City: Critical Perspectives from Latin America. New York: Berghahn Books, 2010.

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    Collection of essays dealing with informal housing, urban conditions, and the theoretical and critical concerns of the distinction between formality and informality in architecture. Case studies from Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Havana, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, and Santiago de Chile.

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  • Lejeune, Jean-Francois, ed. Cruelty and Utopia: Cities and Landscapes of Latin America. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2006.

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    First published in French, this catalogue of twenty essays accompanied an exhibition at the International Center for Urbanism, Architecture, and Landscape in Brussels in 2005. Texts focus on a theme, theoretical problem and/or a single city, with Brazilian cities heavily represented. Some trace urban change since the colonial period, and the volume includes an English translation of the Law of the Indies. Numerous, high-quality illustrations.

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  • López Rangel, Rafael, and Roberto Segre. Tendencias arquitectónicas y caos urbano en América Latina. Mexico City: G. Gilli, 1986.

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    Surveys in brief the formal changes and major issues faced in the mid-20th century in several large Latin American cities, with an emphasis on social problems: Mexico City, Puebla, Havana, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Bogotá, Caracas, Quito, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Lima, La Paz, and Córdoba.

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  • Violich, Francis. Cities of Latin America: Housing and Planning to the South. New York: Reinhold, 1944.

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    Early account, in the first person, of the urban history in Latin America. Written to raise awareness in the United States of urban conditions in the context of World War II–era pan-Americanism and as growing attention to planning and housing internationally. Later sections deal with recent attempts to address housing shortages and inadequate infrastructure. South American cities receive greatest attention. Of interest for its historiographic value as well as for its information.

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Transnationalism, Regionalism, and Theory

Internationalism has defined Latin American architecture since the colonial era, as consciousness within the region of being connected to and like, yet different from other places shaped the work of many architects. The tensions between local, regional, or national specificity and expressions of modernism coded as international have animated architectural debates and been of considerable interest to many scholars, who have variously reaffirmed the distinctions those terms imply, sought to complicate their definitions, or rejected the dichotomy as an interpretive framework. As Latin American architectural history as a field has grown and as the history of architectural modernism has become more geographically inclusive, some scholars have challenged nationalistic and regionalist readings, as in the Journal of Architectural Education, and investigated the dynamics of internationalism, which is sometimes termed “transnationalism.” Their research has taken many directions. Del Real and Gyger 2012 and Hernández, et al. 2005 gather essays by multiple scholars on topics related to cross-border exchange and, in many instances, implicitly challenge nationally particular interpretations. Benmergui 2013 considers transnationalism in the context of housing in Argentina. See also Josten 2018 (cited under Architecture, Design, and the Other Arts) and Lima 2013 (cited under Brazil: Architect studies and Primary Source Volumes). Liernur 2002 gathers the author’s own writings over two decades on the history of the idea of Latin America and internationalism in modern architecture. González 2011 is similarly concerned with Latin America as a construct as it manifested in buildings and design projects associated with the cultural-political program of pan-Americanism, which was directed from the United States. Waisman 1993 takes up the historiography of architectural modernism and exposes its biases by shifting its geography. López-Durán 2018 is a more narrowly focused study that illuminates the relationships between France, Brazil, and Argentina with respect to theories of race and modernization.

  • Benmergui, Leandro. “The Transnationalization of the ‘Housing Problem’: Social Sciences and Developmentalism in Postwar Argentina.” In The Housing Question: Tensions, Continuities, and Contingencies in the Modern City. Edited by Edward Murphy and Najib B. Hourani, 35–55. London: Routledge, 2013.

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    Analysis of housing and urbanization in Argentina in terms of the historical convergence of the social sciences, planning, and the doctrine of developmentalism internationally in the mid-20th century.

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  • del Real, Patricio, and Helen Gyger, eds. Latin America’s Modern Architectures: Ambiguous Territories. New York: Routledge, 2012.

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    Compilation of essays on a variety of topics concern intellectual, formal, and theoretical exchange within Latin America and beyond it. The volume presents a multinodal view of the region’s architectural history and stresses the multiplicity of modernisms against a hegemonic “modernism” as constructed around European avant-garde works. Introduction offers an excellent precis of the conceptual and historiographical problems associated with Latin America and modern architecture.

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  • Eggener, Keith L. “Placing Resistance: A Critique of Critical Regionalism.” Journal of Architectural Education 55.4 (2002): 228–237.

    DOI: 10.1162/104648802753657932Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Response to the theory of critical regionalism focusing on its emphasis on the concept of resistance and arguing that it inadvertently affirms a colonialist view of architecture in developing countries. The work of Luis Barragán is used a case study.

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  • González, Robert Alexander, ed. Designing Pan-America: U.S. Architectural Visions for the Western Hemisphere. 35–55. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011.

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    A study of the architectural and visual manifestations of the ideology of pan-Americanism as it evolved from the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries. Focus is on US architects and the manipulation of the idea of hemispheric unity chiefly through exhibitions, monuments, and buildings. An introduction is followed by four case studies.

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  • Hernández, Felipe, Mark Millington, Iain Borden, eds. Transculturation: Cities, Spaces, and Architectures in Latin America. New York: Rodopi, 2005.

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    Essays on buildings and urbanism in countries throughout the region that examine cross-cultural exchange in architecture under the theoretical rubric of transculturation. Volume followed an international conference on transculturation in Latin American architecture held in the United Kingdom in 2001.

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  • Liernur, Jorge Francisco. Escritos de Arquitectura del siglo XX en América Latina. Madrid: Tanais Ediciones, 2002.

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    Collection of essays by Liernur, a major historian and critic based in Argentina. His preface and the first two essays focus on theorization of Latin American as an idea and the implications of it for histories of 20th-century architecture. Subsequent essays focus on a wide range of topics, nearly all with themes of international exchange.

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  • López-Durán, Fabiola. Eugenics in the Garden: Transatlantic Architecture and the Crafting of Modernity. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.

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    Traces the links between eugenic theory, planning, and architecture and between France, Brazil, and Argentina. Includes substantial discussion of Le Corbusier’s ideas on race and architecture and his influence in South America.

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  • Waisman, Marina. El interior de la historia: Histriografía arquitectectónica para uso de Latinoamericanos. 2d ed. Bogota, Colombia: Escala, 1993.

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    Written by one of the leading scholars of Argentine architecture, this text concerns the historiography of architectural history and proposes way of understanding the history of modern architecture from the vantage of Latin America. The author considers the relationships between history, architectural history, and art history, as well as those of criticism, practice, and theory. She brings selected canonical Latin American works into dialogue with ones in Europe and the United States.

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Architecture, Design, and the Other Arts

While much scholarship in architectural history is interdisciplinary in its method and scope, recent work on Latin America, particularly by scholars based in the United States working on Mexico, has been notable for its emphasis on architecture’s relationships to the other arts. While this approach is in some respects a reflection of research topics—the phenomenon of integrating works of sculpture, mosaic, and muralism in modern buildings reached its height in Latin America during the mid-20th century, as Damaz 1963 documents—it has also been the basis of methodologically innovative work. Castañeda 2014 and Flaherty 2016 are both concerned with the arts around the period of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and use analyses of urban design, as well as graphic design, architecture, photography, and muralism, to illuminate the dynamics between authoritarian politics, culture, and architecture. See also Carranza 2010 and O’Rourke 2016 (both cited under Mexico: Surveys and Thematic Studies). Josten 2018 explores the intersections of architecture, sculpture, and painting in Matias Goertiz’s oeuvre. Morawski 2017 considers the cultural and political significance of interior design, particularly furniture, in Caribbean hotels. Tenorio-Trillo 2012 is a history of late 19th- and early 20th-centuries Mexico City and goes farthest in its multidisciplinarity, unfolding in a series of essays on topics ranging from public health to literature. Rangel and Pérez 2016 was published in conjunction with a major exhibition organized in 2016 that focused on multiple aspects of design in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela. In Chile, the Open City Group undertook wide-ranging explorations of architecture’s relationship to the other arts and daily life starting in the 1950s. Pérez de Arce, et al. 2003 (cited under Chile), explains their work.

  • Castañeda, Luis M. Spectacular Mexico: Design, Propaganda, and the 1968 Olympics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.

    DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816690763.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analysis of the role of architecture and design in creating an “image economy,” intended to present Mexico as social and politically harmonious and economically prosperous to international audiences before and during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Exhaustive archival research; thorough discussion of relationship between design and politics. Case studies include exhibition pavilions, the National Museum of Anthropology, sports complexes, urban design, and the Mexico City Metro.

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  • Damaz, Paul. Art in Latin American Architecture. New York: Reinhold, 1963.

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    Analysis of the integration of other arts in buildings. Following an overview of architectural painting and sculpture in the ancient and colonial periods, brief summaries of modern architecture and contemporary art in Latin America, and a discussion of artistic integration in Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Thereafter, the topic is taken up in different building types and in landscape and experimental architecture. Good illustrations.

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  • Flaherty, George F. Hotel Mexico: Dwelling on the’68 Movement. Oakland: University of California Press, 2016.

    DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291065.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A study of the ways the political resistance movement of 1968 and reactions to the Tlatelolco Massacre manifest urbanistically in a wide variety of media, including architecture, film, photography, and literature. Informed by Jacques Derrida’s theorizations of history and power, the author frames the dynamics between authoritarianism and resistance in terms of hospitality, a metaphor derived in part from the unfinished Hotel de México.

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  • Josten, Jennifer. Mathias Goeritz: Modernist Art and Architecture in Cold War Mexico. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018.

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    First major study of artist German-born artist Mathias Goeritz. Considers works of sculpture, architecture, and urban design and the rise of abstraction in mid-century Mexico. The text illuminates the dynamics of international modernism through analyses of Goertiz’s individual works and relationships with figures including Luis Barragán, Yves Klein, and Philip Johnson.

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  • Morawski, Erica N. “Modernism on Vacation: The Politics of Hotel Furniture in the Spanish Caribbean,” In The Politics of Furniture. Edited by Fredie Floré and Cammie McAtee, 33–46. London: Routledge, 2017.

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    Consideration of the ways furniture and interior design shaped architectural meaning and contributed to political and cultural significance of the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan and the Havana Riviera Hotel.

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  • Rangel, Gabriela, and Jorge Rivas Pérez, eds. Moderno: Design for Living in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, 1940–1978. New York: Americas Society, 2016.

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    Catalogue that accompanied the traveling exhibition of the same title organized by the Americas Society. Essays deal with designers, some of whom were architects or worked closely with architects, and aspects of modern design in Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela. Topics include the relationships between high modernist design influences from Europe and the United States and local materials and forms, Cold War politics and nationalism, and domesticity.

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  • Tenorio-Trillo, Mauricio. I Speak of the City. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.

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    Collection of essays by a single author, a historian, on the character of Mexico City and the emergence of modernism there between approximately 1880 and 1930. Themes include literature, language, public health, Mexico’s relationship to Asia, and the experience of juxtaposition in the city. Deeply historically grounded and highly interdisciplinary, but also somewhat impressionistic, the unorthodox methodology offers a new model of urban history.

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Latin America and Le Corbusier

No single foreign architect has had more influence on modernism in Latin America than Le Corbusier, and there is an entire body of scholarship documenting this. Liernur and Pschepiurca 2008 and Gutiérrez 2009 focus on Le Corbusier and Argentina, while Fraser 2000 attends to his effects on Burle Marx’s work in Brazil. The Swiss architect’s ideas about race and urbanism, as they affected Brazil and Argentina are the subjects of López-Durán 2018. Morshed 2002 considers the Le Corbusier’s bird’s-eye sketches of South American cities, while his designs for projects in South America are discussed in Cohen 2013.

  • Cohen, Jean-Louis, ed. Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2013.

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    Short essays by Jorge Francisco Liernur, Carlos Eduardo Comas, Claude Prelorenzo, and Jean-Louis Cohen on aspects of Le Corbusier’s travel and work in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile are included in the Americas section (pp. 313–343) of this major catalogue published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same title at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2013.

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  • Fraser, Valerie. “Cannibalizing Le Corbusier: The MES Gardens of Roberto Burle Marx.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 59.2 (2000): 180–193.

    DOI: 10.2307/991589Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Considers Burle Marx’s design of the gardens at the Ministry of Education and Health Building in Rio de Janiero in light of the influences of Le Corbusier.

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  • Gutiérrez, Ramón. Le Corbusier en el Río de la Plata, 1929. Buenos Aires: CEDODAL, 2009.

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    Collection of short essays on aspects of Le Corbusier’s time in Argentina and Uruguay before, during, and after his major visit in 1929. Includes historic photographs and bibliography.

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  • Liernur, Jorge Francisco, and Pablo Pschepiurca. La red austral: Obras y proyectos de Le Corbusier y sus discípulos en la Argentina (1924–1965). Bernal, Argentina: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, 2008.

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    Analysis of the relationships among Argentine architects Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, Juan Kurchan, Antonio Bonet, and Le Corbusier and assessment of the Swiss architect’s influence. It traces developments from the very beginning of Le Corbusier’s involvement with South America in the mid-1920s until his death in 1965.

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  • López-Durán, Fabiola. Eugenics in the Garden: Transatlantic Architecture and the Crafting of Modernity. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.

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    Influence of Corbusian theories of race and form in Argentinian and Brazilian modernism.

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  • Morshed, Adnan. “Cultural Politics of Aerial Vision: Le Corbusier in Brazil (1929).” Journal of Architectural Education 55.4 (2002): 201–210.

    DOI: 10.1162/104648802753657905Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Analyzes the political aspects of Le Corbusier’s urban design schemes, particularly for Rio de Janeiro and Algiers, as they related to seeing and depicting cities and landscapes from above, particularly from an airplane.

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Argentina

The titanic importance of Argentina in world economics around 1900 was reflected in the extraordinary architecture built there in the decades that followed. The country has been rich in scholars as well. Liernur 2008, a giant survey of Argentine modernism, should be the first book consulted by those new to the field. Liernur and Aliata 2004 is a valuable six-volume reference work. Bullrich 1963 is important historiographically as well as for its images and information. The work of Amancio Williams was the subject of an exhibition at Harvard and an accompanying catalogue: Silvetti 1987. The slightly lesser known architects Alberto Prebisch and Antonio Vilar are the subjects of Alberto Prebisch: Una vanguardia con tradición and Scarone 1970, respectively; both of which focus on the architects’ 1920s and 1930s works. Novacovsky, et al. 2001 documents the fascinating, somewhat shocking, strident Art Deco buildings outside of Buenos Aires by Salamone, an engineer. Liernur and Ballent 2014 is a detailed history of housing and domesticity, considered from many vantages.

  • Alberto Prebisch: Una vanguardia con tradición. Buenos Aires, Argentina: CEDODAL, 1999.

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    Collection of essays on career and major works of Argentine architect Alberto Prebisch, chiefly from the 1920s and 1930s. Research based heavily on Prebisch family archive. Many historical photographs, a bibliography, and an illustrated checklist of Prebisch’s works between 1924 and 1970. Accompanied exhibition at the Centro de Documentación de Arquitectura Latinoamericana (CEDODAL) in 1999.

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  • Bullrich, Francisco. Arquitectura argentina contemporánea panorama de la arquitectura argentenia 1950–1963. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ediciones Nueva Visión, 1963.

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    An overview of architecture in Argentina in the first half of the twentieth century is followed by a detailed account of midcentury developments. Bullrich positions Argentine modern architecture in contrast to that of countries that had longer and more culturally developed colonial histories and to France, where industrial and political revolutions evolved in tandem, to a greater degree. Photographs and plans of works from the 1950–1963 comprise most of the book.

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  • Liernur, Jorge Francisco. Arquitectura en la Argentina del siglo XX: La construccion de la modernidad. 2d ed. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Fondo Nacional de las Artes, 2008.

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    Major survey of architecture in Argentina from 1880 to 2000. Chronological organization; emphasis on stylistic change, cosmopolitanism, attitudes toward history and progress, and relationship of architecture and the state. High quality historical and recent photographs; substantial bibliography includes lengthy bibliography of references to Argentine architecture national and international architectural press.

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  • Liernur, Jorge Francisco, and Fernando Aliata. Diccionario de arquitectura en la Argentina: Estilos, obras, biografías, instituciones, ciudades. 6 vols. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Agea, 2004.

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    Major reference work. Organized alphabetically, its entries include architects, planners, engineers, as well as works, buildings, architectural elements, institutions, and styles. Introductory essay explains its authors’ approach and aims; index.

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  • Liernur, Jorge Francisco, and Anahí Ballent. La casa y la multitud: Vivienda, política y cultura en la Argentina moderna. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2014.

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    Essays by Liernur and Ballent on many aspects of housing, residential architecture, domesticity, and state involvement in housing from the late 19th to the mid-20th century are collected in this substantial volume. Includes bibliography and index.

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  • Novacovsky, Alejandro, Felicidad París Benito, and Silvia Roma, eds. Francisco Salamone en la Provincia de Buenos Aires. 2 vols. Mar del Plata, Argentina: CEDODAL, 2001.

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    Collection of essays on aspects of Salamone’s work including formal influences and style, its place in modernism, and its political meanings, as well as on his personal and professional development and on his buildings’ recognition and conservation.

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  • Scarone, Mabel. Antonio U. Vilar. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Instituto de Arte Americano e Investigaciones Estéticas, 1970.

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    Brief overview of works by Antonio U. Vilar, chiefly from the 1920s and 1930s. Includes historical photographs, plans, quotations by Vilar, and a bibliography.

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  • Silvetti, Jorge, ed. Amancio Williams. New York: Rizzoli, 1987.

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    Illustrated catalogue that accompanied exhibition on Williams held at Harvard’s Gund Hall Gallery in 1987.

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Brazil

More than that of any other Latin American country, the architecture of Brazil has been celebrated and studied abroad, thanks in part to exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and publications by New York–area publishers, which surveyed new and sometimes old works. The building of Brasilia beginning in the 1950s fascinated the world. It was widely documented in the international architectural press and made Oscar Niemeyer Latin America’s most famous architect. Accounts of his work and the capital city long dominated scholarship on Brazilian modernism, but research is increasingly revealing a more complicated history. The complex intersections of landscape, tourism, race, a rich history of baroque architecture, and centuries-old exoticization of the country on the part of foreigners and Brazilians alike, ripple through Brazil’s modern architecture and scholarship of it. As the largest country in Latin America, a former Portuguese colony, and one that was deeply embedded in the international trade of enslaved people, Brazil differs from its Spanish-speaking neighbors in significant ways. It stands with Mexico as one of the two most important centers of modern architecture in Latin America.

Surveys and Thematic Studies

Goodwin 1943, which accompanied a major exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Mindlin 1956 are bilingual or English-language surveys. Both are well illustrated and of historiographical interest. Recent surveys, including Segawa 2013 and Williams 2009, along with essays in Guerra 2010 have sought to expand the canon of Brazilian modernism. Among them, Williams 2009 is the easiest to use for an overview, but Segawa 2013 begins earlier; all three are good starting points for scholars new to the field. Lara 2008 was the first major text in English to expand the field beyond canonical figures; he explores of the diffusion of the Brazilian modernist idiom in vernacular works.

  • Goodwin, Philip L. Brazil Builds: Architecture New and Old 1652–1942. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1943.

    DOI: 10.1080/00119253.1943.10742093Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Book that accompanied the celebrated exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and helped spread knowledge of Brazilian modernism internationally. Colonial buildings are organized geographically; 20th-century works by building type. Heavily illustrated. English and Portuguese.

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  • Guerra, Abilio, ed. Textos fundamentais sobre história da arquitetura moderna Brasileira. 2 vols. São Paulo, Brazil: Romano Guerra Editora, 2010.

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    Large collection of essays on aspects of Brazilian modernism and major figures in it by wide range scholars. Includes discussions of architectural theory, idea of a culturally specific architecture, and the influences of foreign architects. Essays were originally published between 1983 and 2002.

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  • Lara, Fernando Luiz. The Rise of Popular Modernist Architecture in Brazil. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008.

    DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813032894.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Study of five hundred houses in Belo Horizonte that have formal elements on the façade reminiscent of modernism of Niemeyer, who designed major works at Pampulha in the same state. Through analysis of plans and interviews with owners/designers, the author seeks to understand the relationship between this vernacular modernism and the “high” version. Illuminates the widespread acceptance of architectural modernism in Brazil, in contradistinction to resistance to it common in many places.

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  • Mindlin, Henrique E. Modern Architecture in Brazil. New York: Reinhold, 1956.

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    Major illustrated survey of buildings from 1937 to 1955, organized by building type and including works of infrastructure, planning, and landscape design. Mindlin’s introductory essay positions modern buildings in relation to colonial ones; preface by Sigfried Gideion.

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  • Segawa, Hugo. Architecture of Brazil, 1900–1990. Translated by Denilson Amade Souza. New York: Springer, 2013.

    DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-5431-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    First published as Arquitecturas no Brasil, 1900–1990 (Sao Paulo: Edusp, 1998). Major survey of Brazilian modernism that aims to widen the focus beyond Niemeyer, Costa, and the Sao Paulo school and argues for the multiplicity of modernisms within Brazil. While charting formal change, the author also examines key architectural debates and the mechanisms of intellectual exchange from 1862 to 1990. First chapter is devoted to urbanism up to 1945. Preface should be read for its historiographical summary.

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  • Williams, Richard J. Brazil: Modern Architectures in History. London: Reaktion, 2009.

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    Overview of Brazilian modernism from 1930s to 2000s, with emphasis on Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and Rio de Janeiro and the canonical architects of the period. Williams focuses on architects’ responses to ideas about history, sexuality, progress, development, civic life, spectacle, and public space as they manifest politically and intellectually.

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Urbanism and Landscape Architecture

Brazil is unique among Latin American countries in having three cities of international significance: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Brasilia. All have been important centers for the development of modern architecture, and two have served as national capitals. Brazil’s cities have been the subjects of several major books. Evenson 1973 is a substantial comparative study of Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. Holston 1989 examines Brasilia with sympathy for its residents. Correa 2018 is a visually impressive collection of essays on historical topics and contemporary urbanism. On landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, see Hoffmann and Nahson 2016 and Nordenson 2018 (both cited under Brazil: Architect Studies and Primary Source Volumes); also see Fraser 2000 (cited under Latin America and Le Corbusier).

  • Correa, Felipe, ed. São Paulo: a Graphic Biography. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.

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    São Paulo’s gargantuan twenty-first century size and future growth is the point of departure of this collection of essays by multiple scholars, but the book includes much historical discussion of the metropolis and many excellent historical photographs and maps as well as new drawings and diagrams. Bibliography. English and Portuguese.

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  • Evenson, Norma. Two Brazilian Capitals: Architecture and Urbanism in Rio de Janeiro and Brasília. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1973.

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    Major comparative study of Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, with extensive discussion of the planning and construction of the latter. Considers the influences of Brazilian baroque architecture and attempts to relate urbanism to distinctive aspects of cultural character. Particularly notable is the discussion of alternate schemes for Brasilia, which show the influence of a wide variety of planning theory.

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  • Holston, James. The Modernist City: an anthropological critique of Brasília. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989.

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    A solid and deeply researched assessment of the implications of modernist planning as exemplified by Brasilia. Rooted in anthropological methodologies but drawing from those in architectural and urban history and critical theory in its focus on the experiences of people who live and work in the city, it provides a counterbalance to abundant writing on Niemeyer.

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Architect Studies and Primary Source Volumes

Brazil has supplied some of the 20th-century’s most important architects, most notably Lina Bo Bardi and Oscar Niemeyer. They have been the subjects of monographs, and collections of their writings are becoming more numerous. Niemeyer remains a major subject of research, as Philippou 2008 demonstrates. But increasing attention is being devoted to other figures, Bo Bardi and landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx chief among them. Lima 2013 presents Bo Bardi’s work in depth. Hoffmann and Nahson 2016 accompanied a significant exhibition on him in New York in 2016. Primary source volumes of the work of all three are available in English: Niemeyer 2000, Bo Bardi 2014, and Nordenson 2018. Franck 1960 documents work of Affonso Eduardo Reidy from the second quarter of the century. Lucio Costa is profiled in de Guimaraens 1996. Pisani 2015 surveys the work of Mendes Rocha, a central figure in the Paulista school.

  • Bo Bardi, Lina. Lina Bo Bardi: the theory of architectural practice. Edited and translated by Catherine Veikos. London: Routledge, 2014.

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    English translation of Bo Bardi’s, “Propaedeutric Contribution to the Teaching of Architecture Theory,” written in Portuguese in Sao Paulo in 1957. It concerns architectural education the relationships between history, theory, and practice. Volume includes the numerous images Bo Bardi intended to accompany her text, throughout which Veikos has introduced explanatory notes. Introduction by Veikos and list of works cited by Bo Bardi, bibliography; documents related to teaching are reproduced as appendices.

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  • de Guimaraens, Cêca. Lucio Costa, um certo arquiteto em incerto e segular roteiro. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Relume Dumará, 1996.

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    Brief biographical account of Costa; discussion of life and work.

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  • Franck, Klaus. The Works of Affonso Eduardo Reidy. New York: Praeger, 1960.

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    Catalogue of major buildings and planning projects by Reidy from the early 1930s through the 1950s. Excellent photographs and plans. Each entry includes textual description of the work. Introduction by Siegfried Giedion.

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  • Hoffmann, Jens, and Claudia J. Nahson. Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist. New York: Jewish Museum, 2016.

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    Book that accompanied major exhibition on Burle Marx at the Jewish Museum in New York. Heavily illustrated, it surveys Burle Marx’s major works of landscape design as well as his paintings and sculptures, and includes an essay on references to Judaism in later works. Burle Marx’s influence on contemporary artists is explored interviews with artists.

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  • Lima, Zeuler Rocha Mello de Almeida. Lina Bo Bardi. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013.

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    Major study of Bo Bordi’s work in Europe and South America; based on archival research in Brazil and Italy. Author emphasizes importance of social concern and politics in Bo Bardi’s designs and transformations of them with her arrival in Brazil.

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  • Niemeyer, Oscar. The Curves of Time: The Memoirs of Oscar Niemeyer. London: Phaidon, 2000.

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    Niemeyer’s reflections on his life and work.

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  • Nordenson, Catherine Seavitt. Depositions: Roberto Burle Marx and Public Landscapes under Dictatorship. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2018.

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    Part primary source volume, part history. Includes translations into English of eighteen position papers by Burle Marx written between 1967 and 1974 and published in the journal Cultura. Nordenson focuses on Burle Marx’s concern for ecological conservation and navigation of politics of dictatorship as well as interpretation of his innovative and influential landscape designs.

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  • Philippou, Styliane. Oscar Niemeyer: Curves of Irreverence. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.

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    Major survey of Niemeyer’s work, which the author aims to reposition in the historiography of architectural modernism by arguing that it consciously challenged prevailing aesthetic and theoretical orthodoxies in its celebration of visual, spatial, and sensorial pleasure and its embodiment of Brazilian exceptionalism. Analysis of major projects as well as unbuilt works; heavily illustrated with drawings and historical and recent photographs.

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  • Pisani, Daniele. Paulo Mendes da Rocha: Complete Works. New York: Rizzoli, 2015.

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    Major text on Mendes da Rocha. Many high quality illustrations; discussions of major buildings and phases of his career. Introductory essay by Francesco Dal Co; checklist of buildings, substantial bibliography.

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Caribbean

Scholarship on the Caribbean is still fairly limited, but the field is likely to grow. Most research has focused on Cuba and Puerto Rico, and there is some on the Dominican Republic. That on Cuba is ample of enough to warrant a separate category; see Cuba. Segre surveys major figures and projects in the region during a relative boom period in the second quarter of the century, while the scope of Tejeira-Davis 1985 is much broader historically. Marvel 1994 profiles the work of Nechodoma and transmission of Prairie School forms to the region. Recent research has tended to focus on the influence of tourism in Caribbean modern architecture, as in Morawski 2017, and Rodríguez Casellas 2009. Buildings in Puerto Rico and Cuba were the subjects of an entire issue of the Journal of International Working-Party for Documentation & Conservation of Buildings, Sites & Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (Docomomo) (Edited by Eduard Luis Rodríguez and Gustavo Luis Moré).

  • Marvel, Thomas S. Antonin Nechodoma, Architect, 1877–1928. Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 1994.

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    Study of the work of Nechodoma in Chicago, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, with emphasis on the influences of Frank Lloyd Wright and the prairie school forms on him.

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  • Morawski, Erica N. “Modernism on Vacation: The Politics of Hotel FURNITURE in the Spanish Caribbean.” In The Politics of Furniture. Edited by Fredie Floré and Cammie McAtee, 33–46. London: Routledge, 2017..

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    Analysis of interior design, and especially furniture, in the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan and the Havana Riviera Hotel as carriers of political and ideological agendas and as expressions of evolving cultural identities.

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  • Rodríguez, Eduard Luis, and Gustavo Luis Moré, eds. Special Issue: The Sinuous Path of the Modern Movement in the Caribbean. Journal of International Working-Party for Documentation & Conservation of Buildings, Sites & Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (Docomomo). 2005.

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    The entire issue, which is comprised of four articles, is devoted to modernism in the Caribbean. The topics are regionalism in Cuba, the National Art Schools in Havana, Henry Klumb’s work in Puerto Rico, and the architecture of Toro y Ferrer in Puerto Rico.

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  • Rodríguez Casellas, Miguel. “Soldiers and Tourists: The subjective selves of Puerto Rico’s Modern Architecture.” Archivos de arquitectura antillana 34 (2009): 48–65.

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    Assessment of the ways architecture functioned in shaping collective memory and remaking of history in light of colonialism and socioeconomic underdevelopment. Emphasizes the role of the military and tourist industry as patrons and consumers of modern architecture in Puerto Rico. Bilingual.

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  • Segre, Roberto. “Antillean Architecture of the First Modernity: 1930–1945.” In Latin American Architecture 1929–1960. Edited by Carlos Brillembourg, 116–135. New York: Monacelli, 2004.

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    Summary of architectural developments in the Caribbean, including discussions of theoretical and academic contexts in which modern buildings were created. Buildings in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Martinique, and Haiti are discussed.

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  • Tejeira-Davis, Eduardo. Roots of Modern Latin American Architecture: The Hispano-Caribbean Region from the Late 19th Century to the Recent Past. Heidelberg, Germany: Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, 1985.

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    Translation of a doctoral thesis written in German. Surveys the architecture of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.

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Cuba

Cuba’s architectural and cultural wealth, along with its long-standing appeal to tourists, its important role in hemispheric trade in the first half of the 20th-century and its profound transformation after the communist revolution of 1959 have made the country a source of fascination for scholars. The country’s unstable political relationship with the United States has complicated somewhat access by architectural historians who are US citizens, and it is likely that should diplomatic relations normalize, scholarship will grow. Surveys of the architecture of Cuba and Havana include Préstamo y Hernández 1995 and Rodríguez 1998. Temporally narrow accounts include Segre 1970, an overview of the immediate post-revolutionary period that is sympathetic to the regime and Freeman 2009 on housing. Lejeune 1996 examines urban planning schemes of Forestier. Hyde 2012 examines the links between law and architecture before the revolution and is among the relatively small number of thematically focused texts. Loomis 2011 is a history of the unfinished brick art schools in Havana. Morawski 2019 assesses the convergence of politics and tourism in a major hotel.

  • Freeman, Belmont. “Housing the Revolution: Cuba 1959–1969.” Archivos de arquitectura antillana 34 (2009): 18–33.

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    An account of the rapid developments in housing during the first decade after the Cuban Revolution; discusses links between architecture and politics, as well as major architects and building techniques.

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  • Hyde, Timothy. Constitutional Modernism: Architecture and Civil Society in Cuba: 1933–1959. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

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    Examines intersections of architecture, law, and planning in forging civil society in years before and after the adoption of the constitution in 1940.

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  • Lejeune, Jean-François. “The City as Landscape: Jean Claude Nicolas Forestier and the Great Urban Works of Havana, 1925–1930.” Translated by John Beusterien and Narcisco G. Menocal. Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 22 (1996); 150–185.

    DOI: 10.2307/1504152Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    History or architecture and urban planning in Havana as it unfolded under the influence of Forestier. Includes discussion of relationships to Spanish precedents and Forestier’s work elsewhere. Heavily illustrated.

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  • Loomis, John. Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s Forgotten Art Schools. 2d ed. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2011.

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    Account of unfinished brick buildings by three architects for Cuba’s National Art School begun shortly after the Cuban Revolution. Analyzes relationships between politics, art, and building technique. Book brought international attention to Cuban modernism and helped catalyze conservation efforts.

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  • Morawski, Erica N. “Negotiating the Hotel Nacional de Cuba: Politics, Profits, and Protests.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 78.1 (March 2019): 90–108.

    DOI: 10.1525/jsah.2019.78.1.90Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, designed by McKim, Mead, and White, as a locus of debates about Cuban national character, political control, and foreign investment.

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  • Préstamo y Hernández, Felipe J., ed. Cuba: Arquitectura y urbanismo. Miami, FL: Ediciones Universal, 1995.

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    History of urban development of Havana in essays, many of which include discussion of the colonial and 19th-century city. Numerous high-quality reproductions of maps, drawings, and historical photographs including city views, streets, and major buildings.

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  • Rodríguez, Eduardo Luis. La Habana, arquitectura del siglo XX. Barcelona: Blume, 1998.

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    Chronological survey of architecture in Havana from 1900 to 1960, with chapters organized chiefly by style, but with one each on work of Leonardo Morales and Mario Romañach and one on plastic integration. Epilogue on the National Art Schools and a prologue by Andrés Duany. Excellent photographs, many in color.

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  • Segre, Robert. Diez años de arquitectura en Cuba revolucionaria. Havana, Cuba: Ediciones Union, 1970.

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    Survey of architecture in Cuba built during the ten years after the Cuban Revolution, with particular emphasis on the social and political dimensions of new buildings as well as building technologies. Includes discussion of planning and urbanism, chiefly in Havana.

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Chile

While Santiago was the center of Chile’s architecture in the first half of the century, the emergence of the innovative architecture program at Catholic University in Valparaíso around 1950 and the subsequent emergence there of the Open City Group shifted somewhat the geography of modernism in the country. Eliash and Moreno 1989 catalogues major works chiefly in the capital, while Aguirre González 2012 examines Chilean modernism in the first half of the century via journals. Pérez de Arce, et al. 2003 is an account of the Valparaíso group, including its theories and works, especially after 1970. Essays in Quantrill 2010 cover aspects of architecture from this period.

  • Aguirre González, Max. La arquitectura moderna en Chile (1907–1942): Revistas de arquitectura y estrategia gremial. Santiago, Chile: Editorial Universitaria, 2012.

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    Account of architectural change in Chile in the early 20th century as revealed in and driven by architectural journals. Emphasis on the evolution of architectural education and professionalization, as well as architects’ responses to social concerns and roles in urban transformation.

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  • Eliash, Humberto, and Manuel Moreno. Arquitectura y modernidad en Chile, 1925–1965: Una realidad múltipe. Santiago, Chile: Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile, 1989.

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    Documents buildings and urban developments over forty years. Many useful photographs and illustrations. Bibliography.

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  • Pérez de Arce, Rodrigo, Fernando Pérez Oyarzún, and Raúl Rispa. Valparaíso school: Open city group. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2003.

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    Illustrated survey of the experimental activities and approaches of the architecture program at Catholic University of Valparaíso, one of the most important programs in Latin America. Describes work since the 1950s that aimed to through off academic conventions and intensely connect architecture with art, life, and work but focuses on the Open City project and Open City Group that coalesced around 1970.

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  • Quantrill, Malcolm, ed. Chilean Modern Architecture since 1950. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010.

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    The book consists of three essays, one each by Fernando Pérez Oyarzun, Rodrigo Pérez de Arce, and Horacio Torrent, on aspects of Chilean architecture in the second half of the 20th century including theoretical and material considerations of domesticity, construction, and tectonics. An introduction coauthored by all three provides a brief overview of the country’s architectural history since the 18th century.

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Colombia

Although it has been somewhat less prominent in histories of Latin American modernism than other countries, Colombia is the site many important works. It is also the home of one of the region’s significant architecture journals, Proa. Contents of its back issues are available at Proa. Martínez and Burbano 1963 was one of the first surveys of the country’s architecture. Much larger in scale and scope is Gutiérrez Jaramillo 2000. Téllez Castañeda 2006 is a monumental account of Salmona, the country’s most important architect. Vélez Ortiz, et al. 2010 documents important modern buildings in Medellín, the country’s second city, which was reborn at the beginning of the 21st century as a site of cutting-edge architecture and urbanism following a devastating drug war.

Mexico

Mexican architecture has been the focus of perhaps the greatest volume of country-specific research on modern architecture in Latin America. Scholarship is heavily focused on Mexico City, which was one of the first places in the Americas where International Style modernism flourished, starting in the 1930s. Accounts of modernism there long centered on the relationship of architecture to the Mexican Revolution (1910–1917) and to social and political concerns throughout the century. While these remain important topics, scholars now tend to regard them as several among increasingly many forces that shaped architecture in Mexico. Those new to the field should also consult works on Mexico cited under Architecture, Design, and the Other Arts, especially Tenorio-Trillo 2012, Castañeda 2014, Flaherty 2016, and Josten 2018, which interpret Mexican modernism in interdisciplinary and international terms.

Surveys and Thematic Studies

Born 1937 was the first catalogue of modernist developments there and is now rather iconic. Katzman 1963 provides another, longer, more complete, and still very useful overview. Chanfón Olmos 1997, Volume 4 is notable for its geographical organization and inclusion of buildings outside the major cities. More recently scholars have approached the subject by organizing their texts around major figures or topics as in González Gortázar 1994 and Burian 1997. Thematic studies, Carranza 2010 and O’Rourke 2016, provide a sense of the breadth and variety of architecture in the first half of the century, but do so in the context of deeply researched arguments about the relationships between architecture and the Mexican Revolution in the case of the former and the rise of Mexican architectural history in the latter. Correa and Garciavelez Alfaro 2015 (cited under Mexico: Urbanism and Landscape Architecture) chart the dramatic urban transformation of the Mexican capital over centuries, with an emphasis on the modern period and the future. Eggener 2001 (cited under Mexico: Urbanism and Landscape Architecture) provides a history of Luis Barragán’s real estate development project, Gardens of El Pedregal, and examines the image and meaning of landscape in mid-20th-century Mexico City.

  • Born, Esther. The New Architecture in Mexico. New York: William Morrow, 1937.

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    The first book to analyze modern Mexican architecture; now a classic text. Discussions of urban and political contexts and of construction methods and practices are followed by profiles of architects and major buildings, all photographed by Born. Book concludes with a section on the other arts including painting, sculpture, and ceramics. Essays by F. Sánchez Fogarty of Tolteca Cement Company and art historian Justino Fernández. Photographs and plans are excellent.

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  • Burian, Edward R., ed. Modernity and the Architecture of Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997.

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    Essays, most by Mexican scholars, in English, focusing on major figures and works of the 1920–1950 period. Architects profiled include Enrique del Moral, Juan O’Gorman, Carlos Obregón Santacilia, Mario Pani, and Juan Segura. Interview with Alberto Pérez-Gómez on theoretical concerns of Mexican modernism and an essay on politics and Mexican architecture. Foreword by Ricardo Legorreta.

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  • Carranza, Luis E. Architecture as Revolution: Episodes in the History of Modern Mexico. Austin: University of Texas, 2010.

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    Analysis of architectural responses in the 1920s and 1930s to the Mexican Revolution with an emphasis on the theoretical and historical links between architecture, ideology, and the other arts. Cases studies include the Ministry of Education, Estridentista representations of the city, the Mexican Pavilion at the 1929 Ibero-American exposition, Juan O’Gorman’s schools and houses, and the Monument to the Revolution.

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  • Chanfón Olmos, Carlos, ed. Historia de la arquitectura y el urbanismo mexicanos. Vol. 4, El Siglo XX: Arquitectura de la revolución y la revolución en la Arquitectura. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1997.

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    Survey of 20th-century architecture, organized by regions. Of particular note because it includes buildings and cities outside of Mexico City and Guadalajara.

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  • González Gortázar, Fernando, ed. La arquitectura mexicana del siglo XX. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1994.

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    Comprised of brief essays, chiefly on leading architects, the text functions as a survey of Mexican architecture throughout the 20th century. Other topics include landscape architecture and large-scale monuments and sculpture. One section is devoted to the University City. Essay on the history of architectural criticism in Mexico by Antonio Toca Fernández; substantial annotated bibliography by Louise Noelle; index.

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  • Katzman, Israel. Arquitectura Contemporánea Mexicana: Precedentes y desarrollo. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, 1963.

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    First major survey of 20th-century architecture in Mexico. Part 1 describes construction techniques and building materials, as well as theoretical matters including symbolism and modernism. Part 2 charts the dominant formal strands of architecture in chronological organization. Heavily illustrated and well researched, the text remains an important primer whose utility is heightened by a bibliography and index.

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  • O’Rourke, Kathryn E. Modern Architecture in Mexico City: History, Representation and the Shaping of a Capital. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016.

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    Analysis of the influence of Mexican architectural history on major projects in Mexico City in the first half of the 20th century. Includes discussion of links between architecture, painting, photography, and folk art particularly as they relate to indigeneity and national specificity. A chapter on the emergence of Mexican architectural history is followed by case studies on works by Obregón Santacilia, Segura, O’Gorman, Pani and del Moral, and Barragán.

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Urbanism and Landscape Architecture

Mexico City’s extraordinary architectural and urban history, as well as its status as a major world city in the 20th century, have made it a topic of considerable interest to scholars. Correa and Garciavelez Alfaro 2015 catalogue aspects of this history. Valenzuela Aguilera 2014 documents the history and theory of urbanism in the first half of the century, while Sánchez Ruiz 2002’s temporally narrower study analyzes the changes to the city in light of post-revolutionary social concern. Vitz 2018 examines Mexico City’s complicated ecological history and modern politics; Eggener 2001 documents Barragán’s most important work of landscape design, and O’Rourke 2015 provides a short survey of significant sites of landscape design in the capital.

  • Correa, Felipe, and Carlos Garciavelez Alfaro. Mexico City: Between Geometry and Geography. Novata, CA: Applied Research & Design, 2015.

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    Assesses the transformation of the city from the Aztec period to the 21st century though archival and new photography, maps, and essays by architects and scholars. The authors theorize land use patterns, infrastructure, building types, and natural forms to in an effort make the city intelligible as a mass and in discrete parts and propose design directions for the future. English and Spanish.

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  • Eggener, Keith L. Luis Barragán’s Gardens of El Pedregal. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2001.

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    History of the development of the Gardens of El Pedregal is followed by analysis of the representation of it and other Barragán projects in photography and an assessment of the cultural meanings of landscape in 20th-century Mexico. Appended are a 1945–1946 text by Diego Rivera on the Pedregal, checklist of buildings there, and transcript of a 1951 lecture by Barragán.

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  • O’Rourke, Kathryn E. “Gardens and Landscapes of Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City.” In Frida Kahlo’s Garden. Edited by Adriana Zavala, Mia D’Avanza, and Joanna L. Groarke, 86–103. Munich: DelMonico Books, 2015.

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    Brief overview of important landscapes and gardens in Mexico City with a focus on the first half of the 20th-century. Exhibition catalogue that accompanied a show at the New York Botanical Garden on Frida Kahlo’s botanical imagery and her house and garden in Coyoacán.

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  • Sánchez Ruiz, Gerardo S. Planificación y urbanismo de la revolución mexicana: los sustentos de una nueva modernidad en la ciudad de México, 1917-1940. Mexico City: Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, 2002.

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    Discussion of approaches to urban planning and growth in the capital, with an emphasis on the intersections of modern planning theory and social concern, particularly as it related to the ideological goals of the post-revolutionary government. The period under consideration was of enormous consequence for further urban growth.

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  • Valenzuela Aguilera, Alfonso. Urbanistas y visionarios: La planeación de la ciudad de México en la primera mitad del siglo XX. Mexico City: Editorial Miguel Ángel Porrúa, 2014.

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    Examines the history of urban planning in Mexico City the first half of the 20th century. Topics include in the influence of Haussman, Garden City theory, and hygiene debates, as well as the work of major figures Miguel Angel de Quevedo, José Luis Cuevas, Hannes Meyer, and Carlos Contreras,

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  • Vitz, Matthew. A City on a Lake: Urban Political Ecology and the Growth of Mexico City. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

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    Account of entwined histories of ecology, politics, architecture, and planning in Mexico City from the late 19th-century to the mid-20th century. Topics include hydrology and water policy, forestry, hygiene, housing, and class.

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Architect Studies and Primary Source Volumes

Mexico has been home to many outstanding 20th-century architects, and monographs on them constitute a significant portion of scholarship on Mexican modernism. A wide variety of primary source texts are increasingly accessible as new collections join older works. Notable volumes on major figures include Garlock and Billington 2008 on Felix Candela; Poniatowska, et al. 1999 on Juan O’Gorman; Villagrán 1987 on José Villagrán; and Zanco 2001 on Luis Barragán. Noelle 1989 is a useful reference organized in the manner of a biographical dictionary. Among primary source collections, Vargas Salguero and Arias Montes 2010–2011 is a welcomed three-volume compilation of writings from the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries by a wide range of architects; Anda Alanís and Lizárraga Sánchez 2010 similarly makes selected texts by major architects easily accessible. Gómez and Quevedo 1981 is a collection of interviews with major architects. Raíces Digital, Fuentes para la Historia de la Arquitectura Mexicana is a digitized collection of architecture journals.

  • Anda Alanís, Enrique X. de, and Salvador Lizárraga Sánchez. Cultura arquitectónica de la modernidad mexicana: Antología de textos, 1922–1963. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2010.

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    Texts by major figures in 20th-century Mexican architecture urbanism, Alfonso Pallares, Carlos Contreras, Alberto Arai, Carlos Obregón Santacilia, Hannes Meyer, Guillermo Zarraga, and Enrique del Moral, and three lectures by notable foreigners delivered in Mexico: Alvar Aalto, Sigfried Giedion, and Richard Neutra.

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  • Garlock, Maria E. Moreyra, and David P. Billington. Félix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008.

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    Study of Candela’s work, chiefly in Mexico. Majority of the text is devoted to major buildings. It includes a history of structural engineering and particularly concrete shell building technique. Appendices include texts by Candela, checklist of major works including mention of roof type, and bibliographies of texts by and on Candela. Published in conjunction with exhibition of the same title at the Princeton University Art Museum. Heavily illustrated.

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  • Gómez, Lilia, and Miguel Angel de Quevedo. Testimonios vivos 20 arquitectos: 1781–1981, bicentenario de la Escuela de Pintura, Escultura y Arquitectura. Mexico City: Secretaría de Educación Pública, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1981.

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    Interviews with twenty major Mexican architects.

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  • Noelle, Louise. Arquitectos Contemporáneos de México. Mexico City: Editorial Trillas, 1989.

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    Valuable reference work. Entries on major figures of 20th-century architecture include brief biography, chronological list of major works, selected bibliography. Photographs and plans of buildings.

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  • Noelle, Louise, ed. Mario Pani. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2008.

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    Collection of essays by wide variety of historians and architects on aspects of Pani’s life and work. Good reproductions of historical photographs.

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  • Poniatowska, Elena, Ida Rodríguez Prampolini, Roberto Vallarin, et al. O’Gorman. Mexico City: Bital Grupo Financiero, 1999.

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    The series of essays in this book collectively constitute a major study of life and work of Juan O’Gorman. Considers his buildings and paintings. Many projects and finished works are reproduced in large, high-quality images. Lengthy checklist of paintings, drawings, murals, buildings, and studies.

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  • Raíces Digital, Fuentes para la Historia de la Arquitectura Mexicana. Facultad de Arquitectura, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

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    Digitized and partially indexed collection of major Mexican architecture journals dating to 1899, many of which were once very difficult to find. It is a primary source treasure trove and a major resource. Among the journals are Anuario SAM; Arquitectura y lo demás, El Arquitecto, Arquitectura/México; Planificación; El Arte y la Ciencia, Calli, Arquitectura y Decoración, Espacios, Arquitectos de México, and Cemento.

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  • Vargas Salguero, Ramón, and J. Víctor Arias Montes. Ideario de los arquitectos mexicanos. 3 vols. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, 2010–2011.

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    Large collection of theoretical texts written by Mexican architect between the 1850s and the 1960s. Introductions by Vargas Salguero. Editors frame the volumes relative to the apogee of modernism, which they link rhetorically and conceptually to the Mexican Revolution, entitling the volumes The Precursors, The Forgotten, and The Revolution.

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  • Villagrán, José. José Villagrán. Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1987.

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    Major compilation of Villagrán’s work. Photographs, plans, and many kinds of drawings are reproduced, along with selected texts by the architect, a building checklist, and bibliography. Essay by Ramón Varga Salguero focuses chiefly on Villagrán’s theorization of architecture.

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  • Zanco, Federica, ed. Luis Barragán: the Quiet Revolution. Milan: Skira Editore, 2001.

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    Major collection of essays on aspects of Barragán’s work and ideas, based in part on materials at the Barragán Foundation Archive in Switzerland. Topics include his formative years, landscape projects, and major houses. Among the contributors are Kenneth Frampton, Richard Ingersoll, and Marc Trieb. Heavily illustrated.

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Mexico–US Border and Northern Mexico

Scholars have lately recognized that the area around the US–Mexico border, particularly on the Mexico side of it, constitutes a distinct region in the Americas. Politicization and, at points, militarization, of the border by the US government and particularly the installation of a partial barrier, which operates somewhat architecturally, has drawn further attention to the area. Research on this region is fairly new and is likely to grow. It rarely follows strict disciplinary boundaries; often melds methodologies from architectural history, landscape studies, sociology, and cultural history; and frequently intersects with discussions of politics, immigration, and vernacular architecture. Arreola and Curtis 1993 categorizes border types, looking chiefly informal and vernacular spaces and buildings. Herzog 2001 uses a more traditional architectural historical framework as a point of departure for considering the shaping of the landscape by international trade and labor issues. Burian 2015 is an impressive survey of mostly high-style buildings of northern Mexico. Casey and Watkins 2014 considers the region from multiple vantages via case studies. Lopez 2015 investigates the spatial effects of immigration and remittances on both side of the border, in some cases at considerable distance from it. Rael 2017 proposes ways of theorizing the border architecturally.

  • Arreola, Daniel D., and James R. Curtis. The Mexican Border Cities: Landscape Anatomy and Place Personality. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1993.

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    History and theory of Mexican border cities is followed by analysis of types: urban structure, tourist and “pariah” landscapes, commercial zones, residential areas, and industrial and transit zones. Emphasis is on landscape and urban form.

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  • Burian, Edward. The Architecture and Cities of Northern Mexico from Independence to the Present. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015.

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    Wide-ranging survey of buildings in northern Mexico, which are presented as guidebook-style entries. Breadth of research and documentation is notable. Photographs, maps, and drawings, as well as historical and geographical overview of the region and brief biographies of the architects, are included. Starting point for any research on architecture in northern Mexico.

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  • Casey, Edward S., and Mary Watkins. Up Against the Wall: Re-Imagining the U.S.–Mexico Border. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2014.

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    Two-part, multidisciplinary analysis of the political, social, humanitarian, and philosophical issues related to the wall/fence at the US–Mexico border. Provides account of the history of the wall and theorizes distinction between border and boundary. Case studies from Nogales, Tijuana, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and Santa Barbara. Analysis of the effects of the wall beyond the geographic territory of the political border.

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  • Herzog, Lawrence A. From Aztec to High Tech: Architecture and Landscape across the Mexico–United States Border. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001.

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    Chapter on Mexican architecture, chiefly in Mexico City is followed by architecture at the California border, another on aspects of “Mexican” design in the US Southwest. A consideration of the built environment as it is shaped by technology and trade follows in later chapters. Fusion of aspects of Mexican and US cultures is an overarching interest.

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  • Lopez, Sara Lynn. The Remittance Landscape: Spaces of Migration in Rural Mexico and Urban USA. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.

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    Examination of the spaces and places built and shaped by remittances sent from the United States to Mexico, and by immigrants in the United States. Topics include urbanism, domesticity, gender, aging, and death.

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  • Rael, Ronald. Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.–Mexico Boundary. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017.

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    Theorization of the fence/wall along parts of the US–Mexico border in essays by Michael Dear, Norma Iglesias-Prieto, Marcello Di Cintio, and Teddy Cruz. Included are design proposals by architect Ronal Rael intended to challenge dominant border discourse based on the premise that the wall attracts rather than repels and that it could be a site for innovation.

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Peru

Having been an architect, founder of the country’s major architectural journal, and twice president of the country, Fernando Belaunde Terry towers over Peruvian architecture, planning, and politics. Zapata 1995 recounts some of this history. Urbanism and modernization is the focus of both Kahatt 2011 and Martuccelli 2000.

  • Kahatt, Sharif S. “Agrupación Espacio and the CIAM Peru Group: Architecture and the City in the Peruvian Modern Project.” In Third World Modernism: Architecture, Development and Identity. Edited by Duanfang Lu, 85–110. New York: Routledge, 2011.

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    Discussion of the Lima-based Agrupación Espacio and its theorization of urbanism and modern architecture in Peru, as well as political and cultural context of the development of modern housing in Lima.

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  • Martuccelli, Elio. Arqitectura para una ciudad fragmentada: Ideas, proyectos y edificios en la Lima del siglo xx. Lima, Peru: Universidad Ricardo Palma, 2000.

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    Account of radical urban and architectural transformation of Lima in the 20th century, with a focus on the relationship between fragmentation and growth, and an emphasis on links between architecture and social change, as well as on architecture as a carrier of national identity.

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  • Zapata, Antonio. El joven Belaunde: Historia de la revista ‘El Arquitecto Peruano, 1937–1967. Lima, Peru: Editorial Minerva, 1995.

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    Fernando Belaunde Terry was president of Peru twice and an architect and played a central role in Peruvian architecture and planning in the mid-20th century. This text is an account of the journal he founded and ran, El Arquitecto Peruano.

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Uruguay

Interest in the architecture of Uruguay outside of the country has grown, and access outside of the country to scholarship on its buildings is increasingly improving. Surveys of architecture include Artucio 1971 and Arana and Garabelli 1995, which is narrower in scope. Bonilla 2008 can be used as one. Lorente Mourelle 2015 includes the other arts in a survey focused on mid-century. Mazzini and Méndez 2011 is a valuable source for those interested in architectural theory and education. Anderson 2004 helped bring international attention to Eladio Dieste, the country’s most important architect. Vilamajó and Lucchini 1970 documents the work Vilamajó, the leading Uruguayan architect of the first half of the 20th century.

  • Anderson, Stanford, ed. Eladio Dieste: Innovation in Structural Art. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004.

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    Essays on Dieste’s work, engineering technique, and aesthetics. Includes profiles of major buildings with photographs, many in color. Appendices include texts by Dieste, graphic explanation of structural methods, notes on Catalan vaulting in Spain, and discussions of reinforced and prestressed brickwork and unreinforced shell structures in masonry. List of works in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Spain; bibliography.

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  • Arana, Mariano, and Lorenzo Garabelli. Arquitectura Renovadora en Montevideo 1915–1940: Reflxiones sobre un period fecundo de la arquitectura en Uruguay. Montevideo, Uruguay: Fundación de la Cultural Universitaria, 1995.

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    Examination of architectural and urban developments in the capital in the early 20th-century. Heavily illustrated; bibliography.

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  • Artucio, Leopoldo C. Montevideo y la arquitectura moderna. Montevideo, Uruguay: Editorial Nuestra Tierra, 1971.

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    Survey of architecture in Uruguay from 1900 to 1971, with reference to its relationship to works of canonical European and US modernism. Illustrated; bibliography. Available online.

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  • Bonilla, Francisco, ed. Guía arquitectónica y urbanística de Montevideo. Montevideo: Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo, 2008.

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    Substantial guidebook to Montevideo with many entries on modern buildings and landscapes. Published under the direction of Instituto de Historia de la Arquitectura and Facultad de Arquitectura at the Universidad de la República. Many illustrations and maps.

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  • Lorente Mourelle, Rafael. Arte y arquitectura en Uruguay, 1930–1970. Translated by Patricia Antuña. Montevideo, Uruguay: Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, 2015.

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    Survey of major works of art and architecture in mid-20th century Uruguay. English and Spanish. Many illustrations.

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  • Mazzini, Elena, and Mary Méndez. Polémicas de Arquitecture en el Uruguay del Siglo XX. Montevideo, Uruguay: Universidad de al República, 2011.

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    Study of four major theoretical debates in Uruguayan architecture, at four points in the 20th century. Book is organized into corresponding sections: 1914, concerning the relationship between architecture and engineering; 1930, Julio Vilamajó’s responses to the Plan Regulador; 1949, the competition for the Maldonado Town Hall; and 1964, the curriculum debate by the architecture faculty at the Universidad de la República. Authors contextualize each debate, include topic-specific bibliographies and some primary documents.

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  • Vilamajó, Julio, and Aurelio Lucchini. Julio Vilamajó: Su arquitectura. Montevideo, Uruguay: Universidad de la República, Instituto de Historia de la Arquitectura, 1970.

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    Illustrated text on major works and development of Julio Vilamajó.

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Venezuela

The dramatic increase in the production of crude oil in Venezuela by 1940 was followed by explosive urban growth and new building; scholarship followed. Most research has focused on architecture in Caracas and the work of Carlos Raúl Villanueva, who was the titanic figure of 20th-century Venezuelan architecture. Innovative recent publications including Nesselrode Moncada 2016 (cited under Urbanism and Landscape Architecture) and Blackmore 2017 have shifted scholarship in new directions, toward investigations of architecture’s relationship to the oil economy and ideological issues. It is likely that, as a subfield, modern Venezuelan architectural history will grow.

Surveys and Thematic Studies

Gasparini and Posani 1969 is an account of the capital’s architectural history since the colonial era; Hernández de Lasala 1997 surveys sixty years around 1900. Moholy-Nagy 1964 was the first to survey Villanueva’s work and is of interest historiographically as well for information on his major buildings. Wallis Legórburu, et al. 1998 presents the major projects of three earlier architects, who were the subjects of an exhibition. Blackmore 2017 examines the links between architectural modernism and politics.

  • Blackmore, Lisa. Spectacular Modernity: Dictatorship, Space, and Visuality in Venezuela, 1948–1958. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2017.

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    Assessment of the entwining of modern architecture and the politics of dictatorship. Text focuses on the ways the images of modernity and modernization, carried in new buildings, monuments, festivals, and exhibitions, among other things, were used to conceal and advance the agenda of an authoritarian regime.

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  • Gasparini, Graziano, and Juan Pedro Posani. Caracas a través de su arquitectura. Caracas, Venezuela: Fundación Fina Gómez, 1969.

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    Architectural and urban history of Caracas from the 16th century to the mid-20th century. Second half of the book is devoted to 1900–1967 period. Heavily illustrated.

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  • Hernández de Lasala, Silvia. Venezuela entre dos siglos: La arquitectura de 1870 a 1930. Caracas, Venezuela: Armitano Editores, 1997.

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    Heavily illustrated. Good quality reproductions of maps, architectural drawings, and infrastructure, as well as historical photographs of major buildings. Emphasis is on public buildings and spaces.

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  • Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl. Carlos Raúl Villanueva and the architecture of Venezuela. New York: Praeger, 1964.

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    Well-illustrated survey of major works of Villanueva organized chronologically; includes plans and photographs. Introductory essay deals mainly with Latin American urbanism. Bilingual.

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  • Wallis Legórburu, Gustavo, Carlos Guinand Sandoz, and Cipriano Jorge Domínguez. Wallis, Domínguez y Guinand: Arquitectos pioneros de una época. Caracas: Fundación Galería Arte Nacional; Gráficas Armitano, 1998.

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    Text accompanied the exhibition at the Galería Arte Nacional in Caracas on the work of three major Venezuelan architects from 1913 to 1940. Following a surveys architectural and urban developments in Venezuela, works by each architect are presented in text and historical images. Biographical information and chronology.

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Urbanism and Landscape Architecture

Venezuela was an important center of experimentation in city planning in the 20th century. In its push to modernize rapidly, it was a crucible of tensions about the relationship between urban and rural landscapes. Scholars have documented this history in a variety of ways. Appleyard 1976 recounts the history of designing the new town of Ciudad Guyana, while Frechilla 2004 pieces together the urban history of Caracas and Berrizbeitia 2005 examines one major park project by Brazilian Roberto Burle Marx in Caracas. Venezuelan landscape is also the subject of the essays in Guerrero R 2009. Nesselrode Moncada 2016 documents infrastructure building by the Creole Petroleum Corporation.

  • Appleyard, Donald. Planning a Pluralist City: Conflicting Realities in Ciudad Guyana. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1976.

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    Discusses the history of the planning of Ciudad Guyana beginning in 1961 by planners at the Joint Center for Urban Studies at MIT and Harvard. Assessment of the different experiences of external planners and local residents and conflicts that emerged in the planning process, as well as the theoretical implications of the divergent perspectives on city building. Valuable source for historians of Latin American architecture and of planning theory.

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  • Berrizbeitia, Anita. Roberto Burle Marx in Caracas: Parque del Este, 1956–1961. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005.

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    Account of the design and development of the Parque del Este, a two hundred-acre park, which the author reads in terms of Burle Marx’s painterly approach to landscape design and the social and political effects of the transition to the oil economy underway in mid-20th-century Venezuela.

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  • Frechilla, Juan José Martín. Diálogos reconstruidos para una historia de la Caracas moderna. Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela, Consejo de Desarrollo Científico y Humanístico, 2004.

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    Somewhat idiosyncratic texts incorporates interviews with architects, planners, and bureaucrats associated with planning in 20th-century Caracas in well researched essays, framed as dialogues with them, on the history of the city. “Interlocutors” include Maurice Rotival, Leopoldo Martínez Olavarría, Francis Violich, Gerardo Sansón, Pedro José Lara Peña, Pedro Pablo Azpúrua, and Juan Otaola Paván. Bibliography, some maps and historical photographs.

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  • Guerrero R, Aura C., ed. Los paisajes de la modernidad en Venezuela (1811–1960). Bogota, Venezuela: Universidad de Los Andes, Consejo de Publicaciones, 2009.

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    Collection of essays on the representations and cultural meanings of the Venezuelan landscape in the nineteenth and roughly the first half of the twentieth centuries. Topics include landscape painting, photography, scientific expeditions, nationalism, and urbanization.

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  • Nesselrode Moncada, Sean. “Refining Amuay: Creole Petroleum and Judibana, 1946–1955.” Architectural Theory Review 21.3 (2016): 302–329.

    DOI: 10.1080/13264826.2018.1379107Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Examines the town planning and infrastructure projects organized by the Creole Petroleum Corporation and the intersection of capitalism with landscape design and the rhetoric of modernization. Of interest as well as a contribution to literature on modernism and company towns.

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