Last week, we received copies of two of Steven Holl’s newest publications, Scale and Color Light Time. Published by Lars Müller, the books examine Holl’s preoccupation with light and color as ways to inform the shaping of space. Holl’s architecture has consistently defined itself with formal gestures grounded in light and meaningful applications of textures and colors. While accurate to associate Holl with water color, the books shows the range such a medium has had over Holl’s career, as it has afforded the flexibility to serve as both an exploratory and explanatory tool.
More about the books after the break. (more…)
The monograph 2G presents a new way of approaching Chilean architecture. In the wake of the interesting publications of Mathias Klotz (2G 26, 2003), Smiljan Radic (2G 44, 2007) and Cecilia Puga (2G 53, 2010), now comes that of Pezo von Ellrichshausen, a firm that has proven itself around the world for its consistently outstanding, contemporary works (you can see some examples here).
We all know the mantra first expressed by French novelist Gustave Flaubert and later by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, “le bon Dieu est dans le detail,” (God dwells in the details.) But what is a detail? Is it merely a fetish as Greg Lynn, Zaha Hadid and Peter Cook argue? “Is detailing nothing more than small-scale architectural design, requiring a bit more technical knowledge simply because it occurs at the end of the process?” asks Edward R. Ford. If there is anyone that knows details it is Edward R. Ford, and he tries to answer this seminal question in his latest book. He is the author of several other books including The Details of Modern Architecture, volumes 1 and 2, but he never answered the question of what a detail is in those two influential works.
A short time ago we received a monograph of Menis Arquitectos’ work. We are big fans of Fernando Menis’ work and have featured some of his projects (see here). The photography in this book from photographers like Kim Yong-Kwan and Roland Halbe really pull you into Menis’ work. The work has a great textural quality about it. You find yourself touching the page wishing you could experience the actual project. As noted in the book, “Fernando Menis’ works combine physical grip with mental freedom, tactile attachment to constructive matter and the visual imagery of his compositional language, close ties with the mineral landscape of the Canary Islands and the rich catalogue of their frond references.”
Mark Foster Gage, from the Yale University School of Architecture and Gage Clemenceau, has put together a wonderful collection of text that together shed light on the various ideas about beauty through history. Gage’s added commentary helps relate each of the text to contemporary thinking on architecture and design. The text range from Plato, Aristotle, Vitruvius to Nehamas and Zangwill. (I, personally, found the last piece by David Freedberg and Vittorio Gallese very intriguing. It bridges many of the theoretical positions with advancements in cognitive science.) If you are interested in the theoretical side of architecture but don’t where to start or you prefer the practical side over the theoretical this book is a good one to have under your belt. It gives you the basics from which you can expand upon, if you are so inclined.
Get Fit. Lose Weight. Be a Better YOU.
Slogans like these constantly inundate us across media sources, and the premise is always the same: a healthy body is sexy, desirable, better. The opposite is similarly true: if you’re fat or obese, you aren’t just unhealthy, you’re sick. You need to be ‘cured.’
This moralization of “healthy” is symptomatic of a greater obsession and anxiety over our health in general, an obsession that has led to what Giovanni Borasi and Mirko Zardini, editors of Imperfect Health, call “medicalization; a process in which ordinary problems are defined in medical terms and understood through a medical framework” (15). The book has been published by the Canadian Center for Architecture with Lars Müller Publishers, and it is part of an exhibit accompanied by an online TV channel.
This process has similarly formed a concept that design and architecture are tools for healthiness and well-being; hence the proliferation of Green built environments that supposedly (1) recuperate nature from dastardly human deeds and (2) “craft a body that is ideal or at least in good health, apparently re-naturalized or better yet, embedded in nature” (19). Just think of the NYC High Line‘s recuperation of land left “damaged” by technology, a vastly popular project that motivates the human body to walk, run, and play in nature rather than sit sedentarily (unhealthily) in a toxin-emitting vehicle.
But is this idea itself a healthy way to conceptualize of Architecture? Is this goal of “healthiness” even possible to attain?
More on Imperfect Health after the break.
A short while ago we received Pamphlet Architecture 11-20, the second volume that accumulates the continually growing series. Steven Holl and William Stout started the Pamphlet series back in 1978. They wanted to create a venue “for publishing the works, thoughts, and theory of a new generation of architects.” The resulting publications are graphically pleasing and theoretically engaging. Interestingly, as Steven Holl points out, many of these once theoretical ideas are be realized in contemporary ideas. For example, Steven Holl says his “Horizontal Skyscraper” in Shenzhen, China “could be considered an outgrowth of experiments began in 1996′s Edge of a City (PA 13).
If you are an Apple fanatic and architecture lover you should pick up this book. CLOG publication is filling a niche that has been created by the hyperspeed of digital media. “In the deluge, excellent projects receive the same fleeting attention as mediocre ones.” CLOG slows things down by exploring a single subject from multiple viewpoints, and “on paper, away from the distractions and imperatives of the screen.” This book offers an in-depth look at the development of Apple’s brand of architecture. Mixed into the in-depth look is an amusing four page collection of one sentence quotes from architects and critics about the new Apple Headquarters. Here are a couple: Eric Owen Moss says, “Internal courtyard could be magic, a new world for adventurous kids only, like going out the back of the CS Lewis/Narnia closet.” Mark Goulthorpe asks, “Sphincter?” Jacob van Rijs says, “I love the garden miss the bite…” and J. Mayer H. laments, “So disappointing…”
We have featured Enota several times before and we are pleased to make you aware of a nice monograph they recently published. Founded in 1998, Enota has strung together an impressive amount of innovative built and unbuilt work. They constantly strive for their buildings to be grounded in the environment that surrounds them. “Enota’s team of architects focuses on research driven design of the environment where study of contemporary social organizations and use of new technologies are interwoven to produce innovative and effective solutions. Their solutions are strongly influenced by research, reinterpretation and development of social, organizational and design algorithms that derive from nature.”
If you want a brief simple city guide of contemporary architecture in New York City you can have a look at our city guide, but if you want a thorough guide book then you should check out John Hill’s Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture. The book is organized into neighborhoods so you can create your own self-guided walking tours. It covers everything from parks and residences to office buildings and museums. There is also a section that depicts a few projects that might come to fruition by 2020.
OMA sent us an absolutely fascinating book that tells the history of the Japanese architecture movement known as Metabolism. “Between 2005 and 2011, architect Rem Koolhaas and curator Hans Ulrich Obrist interviewed the surviving members of Metabolism, together with dozens of their mentors, collaborators, rivals, critics, proteges, and families. The result is a vivid documentary of the last avant-garde movement and the last moment that architecture was a public rather than a private affair…” You can see a few of the iconic buildings from the Metabolism movement here on ArchDaily: works by Kenzo Tange and Kisho Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower.
We recently received a monograph of DP Architects‘ work. Started in 1967 DP Architects have become internationally acclaimed architecture firm with 1200 employees in 12 offices worldwide. DP Architects have devoted themselves to “improving the quality of the city,” whether it is a small residence in Singapore or a large complex in Dubai. The paucity of the work featured on ArchDaily should not be a reflection of this firms reach and breadth. You can check out the ones we have featured, but be sure to take a look inside this book after the break. We think you’ll want to see and read more about their work once you are properly introduced.
In Form Follows Nature, edited by Rudolf Finsterwalder, you are treated to “an outline of the history of the human examination of nature and presents a perspective for further possible lessons from nature.” Wilfried Wang, for examples, gives a particularly scathing review of the Enlightenment and it contributions. From these critiques and histories a base is built to demonstrate how the forms and process of nature can be used to generate form. The book stresses that copying nature is charlatanism and misses the point. Architects must understand the underlying principles and not the end product to achieve success.
Have a look inside after the break.
We just received the lastest edition of MARK Magazine, one of our favorite publications. There are some absolutely arresting projects and articles in this issue. A personal favorite is a piece on Jean-Francois Rauzier’s art work. Rauzier builds unique worlds out of thousands of photographs. (If you are not familiar with his work visit website, no seriously go.) On a more practical note this issue has a piece on the advantages of smart phones and why and how they can help architects increase their workflow or procrastinate in style. If you want to know what Bjarke Ingels’ reads there is an article on that too, pretty interesting. Among his favorites is Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red Mars and he is currently reading Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves; I love knowing what architects are reading for some reason, what are you, our readers, reading? As always MARK’s project selection is great; some we have and others we don’t. Those we do have are shown in greater depth or from a different angle.
If you want to check out 14 projects featured in this issue you can view our articles on them, click here.
Get a peak inside the issue after the break.
If you are a fan of Hans Hollein then we have the book for you. Edited by Peter Weibel, this large format book gives you a vivid and detailed look at the 1985 Pritzker Prize recipient’s work. Hollein, an Austrian trained architect, did everything from architecture to design and art. Hollein said, “architects have to stop thinking in terms of buildings only.” The book describes Hollein as the universal artist who “has transposed the machine-based architecture and art of modernity into the era of media-based communication and information technology.” The large photographs featured in this publication make for a great for a coffee table book, and yet the depth and breadth of his work can spur much more interesting conversation than the average coffee table book.
We are super excited about receiving the next magazine in the a+t strategy series. The series as a whole “analyzes the strategies undertaken in the projects of urban landscaping in order to achieve the set objectives.” This issue specifically deals with Tactical Urbanism. The topic takes on how to address the conflict and fog created in many of the occupy protests, making the issue relevant to the larger discussion taking place among society all over the world. Many of the ideas trend toward an open-ended approach of what Rem Koolhaas might have called, “specific indeterminacy.” The common denominators of the eight collectives this issue covers are “the criticism of the consumerism present in modern society, the instigation of individual participation in collective and spontaneous projects to transform the city, non-recognition of intellectual property, the inclination towards libertarian and hedonistic projects, the struggle against alienating work and in particular merging daily activity, leisure and fun into one workload with the aim that each person might construct their own life differently and according to their desires and personal preferences.”
It is such a great pleasure for ArchDaily to promote David Stark Wilson’s photographic exploration Structures of Utility. We have feature Wilson’s firm WA Design on ArchDaily, but this book offer something uniquely different. Wilson traveled the back roads of California’s Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada foothills and captured the haunting beauty of utility buildings. These are buildings that would not otherwise be featured on ArchDaily, unless an architect did a remodel, but the photographs bring home the obvious point that design inspiration often lies far outside the realm of award winning and highly publicized buildings. The photographs are absolutely gripping. For a peak inside see more after the break.
A short time ago we received the book Alvar Aalto: The Mark of the Hand. Before you Aalto fans get jealous of our newly acquired treasure, we want you to know that we received several copies and will be doing a giveaway in the near future. So keep yours eyes out, here and on our facebook page. The book is a collection of conversations recorded between members of Aalto’s atelier. It is a unique view into the process of this great architect and his team. It shows the personal side of Aalto, both the bad and good. Sometimes we get lost in the artistry of his works, and it is nice to see the context in which the works were developed.