University of Otago

The Word on Modernism:

How books aided a revolution in design, 1925-1965

Architectural Review
Le Corbusier
European Tradition
American Tradition
English Tradition
New Zealand - Beginnings

Walls (quotations)


"Any person who is in the least aware of the history and significance of architecture, and has taken even a casual glance at the buildings erected in this present age, must feel that our state of mind is, to say the least of it, precarious. If we are to judge from the condition of our architecture, society is very close to disintegration. Never before has there been such chaos."

A. R. D. Fairburn, Planning 1, 1946.



"The idea of function, always inseparable from sound architecture, has been almost buried under successive eruptions of bad taste. Style in the classical sense has been supplanted by ‘styles’ in the vulgar sense. Looking at the row of facades in any one of our main streets, we have the impression of passing along the corridor of a sort of architectural madhouse, and peering in at the patients with their wide variety of aberrations, some of them amusingly eccentric; others merely disgusting."

A. R. D. Fairburn, Planning 1, 1946.


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