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In recent years, terms such as geometrical purity, technical precision, elimination of ornament and abstraction have tended to be summed up in a single word: minimalism. This book establishes, in art and architecture, the genealogy of a concept whose currency in our daily lives transcends any one discipline. After reviewing the work of the minimalist sculptors who came to the fore in the sixties (Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris), the book goes on to consider the austere rationalism of architects such as Adolf Loos and Mies van der Rohe. On this basis minimalisms sets out to present examples of recent architectural practice (Herzog & de Meuron, Peter Zumthor, John Pawson) which, in their combination of the purest forms of the Modern Movement with the most advanced techniques and materials, have helped popularize an aesthetic and a word that have become a sign of the times.