Retro Architecture Has Never Looked This Zen

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Photo: Julius Shulman

Throughout his 70-year career, the late architectural photographer Julius Shulman captured a mid-century modern time capsule of sun-soaked luxury, laid-back SoCal ethos, and sleek retro architecture. Photographing the post-war movement’s flat planes and open-concept designs (including works by Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer), he focused on expansive glass walls, multileveled spaces, and the integration of indoors and outdoors.

Each shot plays on the architecture’s openness, with steady composition and dramatic lighting and shadows. Some buildings tower above densely populated areas (like Gordon Bunshaft’s Lever House in New York); others stand solitary in grassy fields (Herb Greene’s Oklahoma “Prarie Chicken” house).

The book Julius Shulman: Modernism Rediscovered, out August 25 from Taschen, compiles three volumes of Shulman’s photographs (a new edition of a 2009 set), featuring over 400 international architectural works from Hong Kong to Mexico, California to New York.

Click ahead to preview the book.