A world tour of design via ‘The Iconic House’

Cue the oohs and ahhs.

Design lovers – or those with a design lover on their holiday-shopping list – will surely want to note a new title from Thames & Hudson out this week.

“The Iconic House: Architectural Masterworks Since 1900” is part reference, part homage – and utterly captivating for those with an interest in architecture.

The hefty hardcover (376 pages, $35, Oct. 9) by Dominic Bradbury, with photographs by Richard Powers, is an updated edition of the 2009 publication, taking readers on a world tour of architectural marvels designed to inspire an appreciation of the possibilities of what a home can be.

“Of all the kinds of architecture in the world, it is house and home that we relate to most easily and generously,” writes Bradbury in the introduction.

And through the pages, we visit seminal works by icons such as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe, as well as contemporary stars such as Tadao Ando, Rem Koolhaas and Herzog & de Meuron.

The book, in spotlighting more than 100 designs, touches on everything from the enchanting Victor Horta Hotel Solvay (1900) in Brussels, Belgium, to the Villa Ottolenghi, a 1978 creation by Carlo Scarpa in Bardolino, Verona, Italy; from the Canoas House in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a 1954 Oscar Niemeyer design, to the charming curves of the Elrod Residence in Palm Springs, California, created in 1968 by John Lautner.

Also featured are numerous properties in England, France and throughout America, as well as unique designs in Portugal and Japan, the Netherlands and Mexico, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Scotland, Spain, Indonesia and beyond.

Of note, WAG country gets quite a nod with New Canaan treasures the 1948 Breuer House II by Marcel Breuer and The Glass House, a 1949 work by Philip Johnson.

In the introduction, Bradbury also writes, “When looking back over the book, two things will no doubt strike the reader again and again. One is the great courage and imagination of both the architects and clients who created these houses, many of which were so radical and daring in their day… The other wonder is the intoxicating breadth of ideas, inspiration and original thought contained in these buildings, a glorious treasure trove of architectural thinking, carrying well over a lifetime.”

We certainly agree.

For more, visit thamesandhudsonusa.com.

– Mary Shustack

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