Architecture in Uniform


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Designing and Building for the Second World War

Jean-Louis Cohen

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This fascinating book offers a new perspective on the architectural history of the Second World War, which in previous accounts has most often been viewed as a hiatus between peaceful periods of production. Jean-Louis Cohen contends instead that during the years between the bombings of Guernica in 1937 and of Hiroshima in 1945, specific advances were fundamental to the process of modernization and led to the definitive supremacy of modernism in architecture.

Centering the discussion on ten main themes, the author investigates various aspects of architecture's mobilization in the war years, as well as the trajectories of individual architects. He analyzes architectural developments worldwide and takes into account each of the major participants in the war, including the United States, Japan, Great Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Soviet Union. The book not only focuses on plans, buildings, and technological inventions but also examines the many types of visual representation used for war purposes, enhanced by a rich array of more than 300 illustrations.

Distributed for Editions Hazan, Paris

Exhibition Schedule:

Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal

Jean-Louis Cohen is the Sheldon H. Solow Chair for the History of Architecture, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He has been curator for numerous exhibitions in Europe and North America and has published scores of books, most recently Mies van der Rohe (2007). His project the Cité de l'architecture — a museum and research and exhibition center in Paris — opened in 2007.


Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal

“Most importantly, Cohen demonstrates how experiences and necessities engendered by the war induced new ways of producing and understanding architecture and modern design after it.”—L.E. Carranza, Choice

“With its snappy title, wealth of illustrations and range of coverage, Architecture in Uniform is a fascinating book.’’—Nick Bullock, RIBA Journal

“Architecture in Uniform is the first ever attempt to make a global assessment of the entire extent of architectural activity in the Second World War. Only a scholar with Cohen’s experience and international range of knowledge could have pulled this off…..The quality of the visual material and of the documentation, collected form such a diversity of sources, is a major achievement…..But it is the sheer variety of the episodes and anecdotes that Cohen recounts that makes the book fascinating.”—Adrian Forty, Architects Journal

"It is the broad international sweep of this book that is impressive… Cohen is right to say he has filled an enormous gap in architectural history in one volume. Almost each chapter could have evolved into a book, but one sentence from the introduction offers a justification of the whole: ‘War is a complex process of transformation involving all the components of architecture in its total mobilisation.’ It is a huge and alarming story that needed to be told and has been done so here exceptionally well." Colin Amery, The Burlington Magazine

 Winner, 2012 Art Book Prize, as given by the Authors' Club.

Winner, 2013 Alice Davis Hitchcock Award presented by the Society of Architectural Historians.
ISBN: 9782754105309
Publication Date: July 26, 2011
Publishing Partner: Distributed for Editions Hazan, Paris
448 pages, 6 3/4 x 9 1/2
300 color illus.
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