Architecture's Evil Empire? The Triumph and Tragedy of Global Modernism

Research output: Book/ReportBook


From Los Angeles to London to Bilbao, cities around the world nowadays boast iconic buildings by celebrity ‘starchitects’ that compete for attention on the skyline and in the media. But in recent years, criticism of these 'gestural' structures, famous for their exaggerated forms, has been growing. Miles Glendinning's impassioned polemic, Architecture's Evil Empire? looks at how such cult works have fatally subverted the built environment as a whole. How a world-wide ‘empire’ of contemporary modernism emerged within the context of global capitalism's excesses is explained in this book.

Arguing against the excesses of iconic design, Glendinning advocates a modern renewal that seeks to remedy the tragically alienated state of contemporary architecture, although his is a renewal that contrasts strongly with the traditionalist visions of America's New Urbanists or Britain's Prince Charles. Mingling scholarship with wry humour and a genuine concern for the present situation, Architecture's Evil Empire? will raise heated debates across the continents, for this book is essential reading for architects, planners and everyone else concerned about the built environment of now and tomorrow.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherReaktion Books
Number of pages208
ISBN (Print)9781861897565
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010


  • Architecture
  • Modernism
  • contemporary design
  • iconic buildings
  • polemic


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