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Modern Housing Prototypes

Modern Housing Prototypes

Roger Sherwood

ISBN 9780674579422

Publication date: 04/15/1981

The design of housing has commanded the attention of the greatest architects of the twentieth century. In this stunning volume, Roger Sherwood presents thirty-two notable examples of multi-family housing from many countries and four continents, selected for their importance as prototypes. Designed by such masters as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Alvar Aalto, they range from single-house clusters to row-houses, terrace houses, party-wall and large-courtyard housing, to urban high-rise towers and slabs.

The thirty-two buildings or housing complexes are illustrated with photographs, site plans, floor plans, elevations, and marvelous axonometric drawings. In each case Mr. Sherwood gives background information on the project, mention, factors the architect had to take into consideration (social, environmental, financial), points out creative solutions to particular problems, and comments on special features of the design. Laymen as well as professionals will find his presentations enlightening.

In the Introduction, Mr. Sherwood sets forth the basic principles of organization that apply to housing. He analyzes first the limited number of ways in which individual apartments or living units can be laid out (each type or plan lending itself to variations and permutations) and then the ways in which different units can be vertically and horizontally organized within a single building. Drawings and plans of more than eighty housing complexes in twenty countries accompany his analysis.

Mr. Sherwood offers his book in the belief that there is no excuse for shoddy architecture; that no branch of architecture is more important than the design of human habitations; and that much is to be learned from the study of significant buildings of the recent past.


  • By including idiosyncratic works, Sherwood has encompassed the best that ‘modern’ architecture has offered us to live in. His list of examples is difficult to fault and his drawings and informative text make this book well worth owning.

    —Journal of Architectural Education


  • Roger Sherwood was a practicing architect and Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California School of Architecture.

Book Details

  • 184 pages
  • 9-3/4 x 10-3/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press