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Open Access Constructing tropical modernity

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Constructing tropical modernity

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image of New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

[First paragraph in part]The buildings and ruins we discover for ourselves hold a lasting place in our imagination, not to say in our affections. In a society that has neglected the formal treatment of "space," architecturally as well as in political terms, these personal discoveries can promote a subversion of sorts. Thus, the consecutive appearance of two volumes addressing the architecture produced at the turn of the century in Puerto Rico is a notable event. Each results from an architect's passionate concern with the advent of modernity. Thomas Marvel's book concentrates on the life and work of Antonin Nechodoma, an American of Bohemian origin who spent his most productive years in Puerto Rico. It is the result of his decades-long fascination with a "versatile architect, designer, and craftsman working in unusual circumstances" (p. xviii) who left, both in Puerto Rico and in the Dominican Republic, a string of edifices strangely echoing the continental Prairie School.

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