“The representation of creative ideas is of primary importance within any design-based discipline, and is particularly relevant in architecture where we often do not get to see the finished results, i.e. the building, until the very end of the design process. Initial concepts are developed through a process that enables the designer to investigate, revise, and further refine ideas in increasing detail until such a point that the projects design is sufficiently consolidate to be constructed. Models can be extraordinary versatile objects within this process, enabling designers to express thoughts creatively. (…).”
French novelist Gustave Flaubert’s expression, “le bon Dieu est le détail” became a cliché for one reason, it is true. God does dwell in the details, and well done details are often the difference between a mundane building and a transcendent one. That is what makes it so easy to spend hours combing through books like Virginia McLeod’s Encyclopedia of Detail in Contemporary Residential Architecture. This book is a great resource of contemporary details with over 700 construction details and 100 of the best contemporary residences by firms such as The Miller Hull Partnership, Safdie Rabines Architects, Steven Holl Architects, and many more.
More information after the break. (more…)
We were excited to receive Mackintosh School of Architecture’s 36th addition of MacMag – a student publication that catalogues the work of the student body in a way that is as much about the graphical expression as it is about the architectural projects it contains (check out our coverage for the 35th addition of MacMag here). “MacMag 36 is a proud statement of where we are now, as students relating to contemporary and future architecture,” explained the student editors Joe Barton, Marguerita Kyriakidis, Heather MacSween, David O’Reilly and John Robson. The book is divided into 5 different stages – to coincide with the years of study – beginning in Stage One with creative and explorative work and moving through the fifth stage which showcases the architectural growth of the students in more comprehensive works.
More about the publication after the break. (more…)
Published in 2008 this book details the SOM’s design of the International Terminal at the San Francisco International Airport. The mid-rise terminal is a case study in light and lightness. It has plans, sections, elevations, models, text by Anne-Catrin Schultz, and photographs by Timothy Joseph Hursley.
This book is an account of the highly productive decade of architectural experimentation in Croatia lodged between the violent break-up of Yugoslavia and their slow integration into the EU. Ivan Rupnik guides the reader through the emergence of this bizarre and fascinating architectural scene on the very edge of united Europe, utilizing Ljubo Karaman’s theory of the periphery as a distinct space of artistic production from that of the center or province, Manfredo Tafuri’s concept of architectural experimentation, as well contemporary notions of agency.
Back in 2009 we went to Croatia to see this architecture scene first hand, and we featured many of the projects presented in this book, that you can check out on our list of Croatian projects before you buy this book. Further info and photos after the break.
“‘After Crisis’ concentrates around the new conditions for architectural practice and around the new epistemologies that may inform it in the next future. That is, in the period after the financial bubble has collapsed and living and working conditions have significantly changed. Essays, studies and interviews, along with a selection of indicative projects, tackle the actual issues of growth and shrinking, economy and ideology, craftsmanship and social space in the city, materiality and sustainability in architecture. In a logical sequence, they depict the current reality of architecture.”
Further information and photos after the break. (more…)
As part of Architecture Briefs series, produced by The Foundations of Architecture, this short book on lighting gives a very good introduction into architectural lighting. The authors start by explaining the six visual principles of light; illuminance, luminance, color and temperature, height, density, and direction and distribution. After providing this foundation the authors analyze six projects that include the High Line and Guthrie Theater. The book is rounded out with pieces from Steven Holl, Sylvain Dubuisson, and James Corner. If you are interested in getting into architectural lighting this book is a good place to start.
I never can get enough of Volume. This issue is loaded with provocative articles that stimulate discussion about a pressing reality, the dramatic demographic shift in the age of human populations. Throughout this issue there are articles like Martti Kalliala’s that push the boundaries of the discussion. Looking at the rapid increases in average life expectancy, Kalliala’s asks what the world will be like if we could live to a thousand? These types of articles are supplemented by exposés into existing and proposed retirement communities and nursing homes. This, as Volume always does, gives a nice balance to the intellectual inquiry and practical application.
“Established initially in London in 1980 and based in Germany since 1988 the architectural office of Bolles + Wilson has firmly established itself as an international practice underpinned by thorough research and theoretical discourse. This monograph chronicles a variety of projects alongside more than 25 recent buildings that are surveyed through different chapters that cover such areas as urban planning, projects in different foreign countries, library architecture and specific designs for the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Accompanied by texts from Julia Bolles-Wilson and Peter Wilson, the survey is generously laid out with colour photographs, technical drawings, models and sketches. Works and projects featured include: the Suzuki House, Tokyo; the Masterplan Falkenried, Hamburg; the Spuimarkt Block, The Hague; DGM Quartier, Magdeburg; the Kaldewei Kompetenz Center, Ahlen; the MÃ¼nster City Library; and the New Luxor Theatre, Rotterdam.”
Summary of contents, credits, and more photos after the break. (more…)
Sited on the coastal edge of the Bay of Bengal, Golconde, a dormitory for the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India, was designed by architects Antonin Raymond and George Nakashima. Golconde is a remarkable architectural edifice, seemlessly negotiating between the tenets of early modernist architecture while addressing the pragmatic impositions of a tropical context. Espousing radical economy and uncompromising construction standards, it proposes environmental sensitivity as a foundation for the design process. Completed in 1942, Golconde was the first reinforced, cast-in-place concrete building in India and celebrates the modernist credo: architecture as the manifest union of aesthetics, technology, and social reform.
Credits, Contents and more photos after the break. (more…)
We recently featured the companion to this book, Louis Kahn On the Thoughtful Making of Spaces. This large format book draws together over two hundred—mostly unpublished—drawings of Kahn’s Dominican Motherhouse. It offers a fascinating look into Kahn’s design process and his struggles with ideas about space. It shows the project changing over the years and goes straight to the heart of one of Kahn’s most quoted sayings, “A building is a struggle, not a miracle.”
From previously unpublished material and new analytic drawings this book explores Louis Kahn’s Dominican Motherhouse, his unbuilt masterpiece. Kahn pushed and prodded modern architecture into a crisis that questioned aspects of space that modernism had proudly banished from its program. The Dominican Motherhouse is an exemplary exhibition of Kahn’s relentless questioning of architectural space: seeking the sources of its meaning in its social, morphological, landscape and contextual dimensions. The questions brought up again and again in this book are as pertinent today as they were Kahn was asking them.
Made to Measure is a monograph showcasing the work of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, an architecture firm based out of Boston, Massachusetts. Leers Weinzapfel Associates first gained prominence by taking on infrastructure projects that are often left to engineers. Where some might undertake these projects out of consequence, Leers Weinzapfel Associates revels in and seeks out these types of projects. The firm’s ability to finely execute such projects is displayed in the University of Pennsylvania Gateway Complex presented in this book. Although infrastructure projects were their launching point, they now take on an incredibly wide range of projects. In fact, the majority of the projects presented in this book are not infrastructure projects. Perhaps there is something to be said for being able to do the ‘mundane’ well.
Take a look inside after the break.
We recently received the book Reveal: Studio Gang Architects. This monograph takes an in-depth look at several of firm’s extraordinary projects. Archdaily has featured many of the same projects, but our pieces are mere shadows of what is presented in this book. If you enjoyed the glimpses on our website you will love this book. It is rare that I find a monograph that goes into such great depth. Beside the standard plan, section and photographs, each project is accompanied by notes, research, sketches, histories, philosophies, and more. This allows for a much more rewarding conversation than the standard glossy monograph. By the end of each chapter you can easily understand why each design decision was made and how meticulous this studio is. The Aqua Tower, for example, without any additional knowledge holds its own amongst the architecturally cherished Chicago skyline; however, after you read about the design process behind it the tower becomes that much more wonderful. I highly recommend this book.
P.S.: You can watch our interview with Jeanne Gang.
In this book Michael Maltzan holds conversations with a photographer, architects, a landscape architect, a futurists, and a urban planner about Los Angeles’s recent past and its near and distant future. For Maltzan, Los Angeles is currently in a delicate moment of transformation “where past vocabularies of the city and of urbanism are no longer adequate, and at this moment, the very word no longer applies.” In order to guide this transformation in a positive direction Maltzan asserts that “architects, urban theorists, architects, designers, planners, and city leaders requires keen investigation to produce forms that represent this city and and its culture, as opposed to importing other urban models.” The conversations along with the photographs by Iwan Baan presented in this book are part of the keen investigation Maltzan advocates for. This makes for a very engaging book for anyone interested in Los Angeles and shaping the future of cities in general.
I recently read Detail Magazine’s latest issue about Digital Processes. The issue is divided into three parts. The first part deals with digital planning technologies that include mapping techniques for analysis, terrestrial laser scanning, and geographic information systems among others. The second section delves into digital production technologies such as CNC laser cutting, hot wire cutting, and jointed-arm robotics. The final piece brings these together by showcasing six projects that utilize these technologies. In its totality, the issue is a good overall look at the present and future opportunities digital technology offers the profession.
The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design / Alison G. Kwok and Walter T. Grondzik
Similar to the first edition published in 2007, the second edition of The Green Studio Handbook offers a useful introduction to green design. As noted in the title the content stays fairly schematic to help guide and introduce green strategies. This book purposely avoids creating a green building checklists and getting bogged down in technical details. In this way the book can cover a wide variety of topics and show how they are interrelated systems. Each strategy is accompanied by a wonderful set of sketches and images that aid in the readers understanding of the basic concepts.
“… if someone who has a valid point of view wants to give it an audience, he has no choice but to start a magazine.”
- Eno Dailor
On Pamphlet Architecture 1-10 
San Rocco Magazine is a new architecture magazine conceived under a five-year plan which researches on their creators fields of interest. Their second issue covers the subject of ISLANDS in whatever meaning you can imagine for the word “island”. As they wrote:
An island is any piece of land that is surrounded by water.
An island is any object lost in an endless extension of a uniform element. As such, the island is isolated.
The island is by definition remote, separated, intimately alternative.
The island is elsewhere.
Islands can be natural or artificial: atolls, rocks, volcanoes, oases, spaceships, oil rigs, carriers.
Based on Gilles Deleuze book, L’île Désert et autres textes, the magazine is divided in two main blocks: oceanic and continental islands. Can we talk, then, about the possibility of architectural islands? More after the break. (more…)