James Frazer Stirling Notes from the Archive Anthony Vidler

Publication date:
15 Oct 2010
Yale University Press
300 pages: 279 x 216mm
360 color illus.
Sales territories:

An in-depth exploration of the design process and teaching methods of the remarkable British architect as revealed by the archives of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal

The British architect James Frazer Stirling (1924–1992) stimulated impassioned responses among both supporters and detractors, and he continues to be the subject of fierce debate. He earned international renown through such innovative—and frequently controversial—projects as the Leicester University Engineering Building (1959–63); the History Faculty building at Cambridge University (1964–67); the Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (1977–84); the Clore Gallery at Tate Britain (1984); and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard University (1979–84). Stirling was also a visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture, where he trained and influenced many of the current leaders in the field.

Fully illustrated with previously unpublished documents and new photography from the James Stirling/Michael Wilford Archive at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, this book allows for a close examination of design drawings, photographs, and models spanning Stirling’s entire career. These materials deepen our understanding of the influences, early formation, approach, and process of an architect whose work resists labeling. Filled with in-depth analytical and critical presentations of exemplary projects and their reception, the volume reveals Stirling to be a remarkably informed and consistent thinker and writer on architecture.

Historian, architecture critic, and author Anthony Vidler is dean and professor of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, New York.

"An academically significant and visually delightful book." -The Bookseller

"This book is an essential purchase, not least because of the plethora of previously unpublished material, including numerous drawings, models and (even) lecture notes." —Mark Cousins Rias, RIAS Quarterly

"The author, through much archival material, goes back to the architect’s youthful bird-watching diaries and his architectural education. In this way, he persuasively shows Stirling as more wide ranging, exploratory and imaginative than his detractors would have us believe." Christopher Pierce, Burlington Magazine

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