The Historiography of Modern Architecture: Twenty-Five Years Later
Athens Journal of Architecture
Why reopen Panayotis Tournikiotis' The Historiography of Modern Architecture? What for? There are two basic reasons for which Tournikiotis' study is still a useful research tool after 25 years: first, for the historians he covers, it provides the reader with interesting references for further study; and, second, for the study of history and how it is written. In his last chapter, Tournikiotis tries to point out the lessons offered by his discussion on the histories. He emphasizes repeatedly how
... each history presents modern architecture and how each one tries to design the architecture of the present or even the future. Does this hold true for historiography as well? Is this book, as a discussion on nine different histories, projecting what historiography should be in the future? What is Tournikiotis' real proposal? The aim of this study is to present how several authors have revisited the history and historiography of modern architecture after Tournikiotis' dissertation (defended in 1988), especially after its publication in English in 1999. This essay has two main objectives: first, to reconsider the impact of Tournikiotis' Historiography on further studies of the matter; and, second, to provide a bibliography, as complete as possible. The Historiography of Modern Architecture is a perfect manual for initiating students in the study of the histories of modern architecture. To try to 'complete' it, discussing what has been written since, seems like a small addition to what should be considered as a compulsory starting point for every study of architectural historiography.