How did the great architects of this century reconcile their vision of architecture with the realities of building? This is a crucial question that every student of architecture must confront. The Details of Modern Architecture, the first comprehensive analysis of both the technical and the aesthetic importance of details in the development of architecture, provides not one answer but many.The more than 500 illustrations are a major contribution in their own right. Providing a valuable collective resource, they present the details of notable architectural works drawn in similar styles and formats, allowing comparisons between works of different scales, periods, and styles.
Covering the period 1890-1932, Ford focuses on various recognized masters, explaining the detailing and construction techniques that distort, camouflage, or enhance a building. He looks at the source of each architect's ideas, the translation of those ideas into practice, and the success or failure of the technical execution. Ford examines Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House and Fallingwater Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye, and buildings by McKim, Mead & White, Lutyens, Mies van der Rohe, and Schindler from a point of view that acknowledges the importance of tradition, precedent, style, and ideology in architectural construction. He discusses critical details from a technical and contextual standpoint, considering how they perform how they add to or detract from the building as a whole, and how some have persisted and been adapted through time.