Written by James WP Campbell and featuring stunning photography by Will Pryce, “The Library: A World History” (published by Thames & Hudson 2013) explores the evolution of libraries in different cultures and throughout the ages. It investigates how technical innovations as well as changing cultural attitudes have shaped the designs of libraries from the tablet storehouses of ancient Mesopotamia to today’s multi-functional media centres.
Read on for some insights from the book and more of its beautiful photography
Turn the bend and the foreignness of the thing reveals itself, with its gunmetal-colored facade, surfaces jutting at oblique angles, and curves and lines that suggest automotive racing streaks or cooling pipes at a power-generation facility. It would fit right in with a fleet of Star Destroyers blasting some unfortunate rebel ship with turbolasers. — The Atlantic Cities’ John Metcalfe, describing Zaha Hadid’s Library and Learning Center in Vienna
When architecture and Sci-Fi are mentioned in the same breath, it’s usually only to achieve an amusing, surface-level comparison. Zaha’s library? A “Star Destroyer.” OMA’s Casa da Música? A Sandcrawler. And while these unlikely likenesses certainly speak to Sci-Fi’s hold on architecture’s imagination, they don’t really delve into the potential Sci-Fi holds as a source of architectural inspiration.
Enter CLOG: SCI-FI. As does each issue of CLOG, SCI:FI “slows things down,” taking a good-hard look at architecture and science fiction’s long, fascinating relationship. And while it certainly provides many entertaining meanders into comics, literature, and film (including a peek into 2001: A Space Odyssey by ArchDaily contributors INTERIORS), SCI:FI really shines when it’s digging below the surface, exploring how both architecture and sci-fi reveal the dilemmas, fears, and desires of our society today.
From the Publisher. This book gathers together projects and theoretical reflections immortalized through exacting, oversized perspective views, snapshots, photographic sequences and architectural ideograms in felt pen. This is how architect and theorist Wiel Arets ‘freezes’ his thoughts, fixing nascent ideas onto paper. The book opens with an essay by Kenneth Frampton, while previously unpublished hand sketches and coloured pencil perspectives fill the pages.
Wiel Arets, former director of Berlage Institute and currently Dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, is known for his academic progressive research and hybrid design solutions. He has taught in many universities and designed numerous important buildings, including the Academy of Art and Architecture in Maastricht and the university library of Utrecht.
From the Publisher. This book, collecting sketches, maquettes, project drawings and notional references from architecture to science or music intermingled in graphic narratives, composes a highly autobiographical and layered manifesto. Theoretical ideas and architectural practice coexist systematically, tracing out Cino Zucchi’s scientific and personal profile.
Cino Zucchi is Chair Professor of Architectural and Urban Design at the Politecnico di Milano and Visiting Professor at Harvard University. He’s well known for his projects for the residential buildings in the former Junghans area of Venice and those of Nuovo Portello in Milan, and for the extension of the National Automobile Museum in Turin. Zucchi’s various international awards include the Special Mention at the 13th Architecture Biennale (2012), the International Award Architecture in Stone (2009), the Piranesi Award (2001).
From the Publisher. A selection of materials produced by DPA Studio for two international contests for museums, showing how unfinished works can also become remarkable experiments. Sketches, maquettes, notes and diagrams narrate these endeavors.
Dominique PERRAULT, the author of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris and of the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, received many prestigious prizes and awards including: “Grande Médaille d’or d’Architecture” in 2010, “Seoul Metropolitan Architecture Award” for EWHA Womans University in Korea, “World Architecture Award” in 2002, “Mies van der Rohe prize” in 1997, “French national Grand Prize for Architecture” in 1993.
From the Publisher. This book shows the development of Jain’s personal mind-process as well as the collective dialogue through which each project evolves. Dialogues unfolded through study sketches made by both Bijoy Jain and the carpenters, as well photographs taken during journeys used as study and inspiration, showcasing a critical part of their design process. Studio Mumbai consists on a group of Indian architects and craftsmen, all resident artisans of Studio Mumbai, headed by Bijoy Jain, one of India’s foremost architects.
Studio Mumbai’s awards and honours include the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture from the Institute Français d’Architecture (2008), a Special Mention at the 12th Architecture Biennale (2010), the BSI Swiss Architectural Award (2012).
“I have always harbored the naïve idea that architecture brings people together – that its effects, however dependent on special expertise, move us in direct and elemental ways. The anxious crowds from the film Independence Day, like speakers of Esperanto, share a hope of solidarity beyond parochial or national interests in the face of an overwhelming alien presence. However clichéd this ‘Family of Man’ scenario is, it never ceases to fascinate; for it becomes clear that architecture, especially good architecture, is, like the aliens– alien. Indeed it is otherness, indifference as opposed to any humanist impulse, that illuminates something universally shared and felt, which paradoxically is more fully human than those ‘humane’ projects delivered with the best of intentions.”
This paragraph, by Jesse Reiser of Reiser + Umemoto, is the first of an excerpt from O-14 Projection & Reception (AA Publications 2012). Through exhaustive documentation of O-14′s design and construction, the book delves into the complex interrelationships between technology, expression and politics in the context of the ‘nowhere place’ of the global city. Both an account of a design’s realization and a manifesto, Projection & Reception contains Jesse Reiser’s explanatory and theoretical texts on the tower as well as critical essays by Brette Steele, Sanford Kwinter, Sylvia Lavin and Jeffrey Kipnis. Read the rest of the chapter “Independence Day” from O-14: Projection & Reception after the break…
From the Publisher. Passive is the new green. Passive Houses, well insulated, virtually airtight buildings, can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding ninety percent, making them not only an attractive choice for current and prospective homeowners, but also the right choice for a sustainable future. The Greenest Home showcases eighteen of the world s most attractive Passive Houses by forward-thinking architects such as Bernheimer Architecture, Olson Kundig Architects, and Onion Flats, among many others. Each case study consists of a detailed project description, plans, and photographs. Including a mix of new construction and retrofit projects built in a variety of site conditions, The Greenest Home is an inspiring sourcebook for architects and prospective homeowners, as well as a useful tool for students, and builders alike.
We recently received the latest issue of Mark Magazine , one of our favorites. This issue’s main theme is “Fifteen years of architectural freedom in Indonesia”. In this edition you can find previously featured projects by AD, such us The Tower House by GLUCK+, Elasticospa’s Slow Horse Hotel, the amazing Giraffe Childcare Center by Hondelatte Laporte, Herzog & de Meuron’s Messe Basel New Hall and many more. Full info after the break.
From the Publisher. Valerio Olgiati asked architects to send him important images that show the basis of their work. Images that are in their head when they think. Images that show the origin of their architecture.
The list comprises the 44 most unique architects living today: David Adjaye, Francisco Aires Mateus, Manuel Aires Mateus, Alejandro Aravena, Ben van Berkel, Mario Botta, Alberto Campo Baeza, Adam Caruso, Peter St John, David Chipperfield, Preston Scott Cohen, Hermann Czech, Roger Diener, Peter Eisenman, Sou Fujimoto, Antón Garcia-Abril, Go Hasegawa, Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Steven Holl, Anne Holtrop, Junya Ishigami, Arata Isozaki, Toyo Ito, Bijoy Jain (Studio Mumbai), Momoyo Kaijima, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow-Wow), Christian Kerez, Hans Kollhoff, Winy Maas (MVRDV), Peter Märkli, Jürgen Mayer H., Richard Meier, Glenn Murcutt, Ryue Nishizawa, Valerio Olgiati, John Pawson, Cecilia Puga, Smiljan Radic, Richard Rogers, Kazuyo Sejima, Jonathan Sergison, Stephen Bates, Miroslav Šik, Alvaro Siza Vieira, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Peter Wilson (Bolles + Wilson), Peter Zumthor.
From the Publisher. One of the foremost architects working today, Jeanne Gang is widely recognized for her innovative and independent practice. Studio Gang Architects confronts pressing contemporary issues and seeks to answer questions that exist locally but resound globally. The firm’s work is exemplified by recent projects such as the Aqua Tower in Chicago, an 82-story high-rise, which critic Paul Goldberger described as “reclaim[ing] the notion that thrilling and beautiful form can still emerge out of the realm of the practical.”
From the Publisher. Inspiration: Contemporary Design Methods in Architecture is a comprehensive compilation of work samples and ideas on design and gestalt, illustrations and graphic configurations, textures and structures, as well as form and spatial development. This book features more than 800 examples of abstract compositions that relate to architectural design methods and principles. These methodologies find their ground in the work of contemporary architectural design practice, while still being highly applicable to other related creative fields. Inspiration showcases hundreds of examples, models, sketches, and renderings of abstract architectural design applications. In addition to this substantial body of visual work, the book also documents and details the generative process and production of these design creations.
From the Publisher. Bracket 2 examines physical and virtual soft systems, as they pertain to infrastructure, ecologies, landscapes, environments, and networks. In an era of declared crises—economic, ecological and climatic, amongst others—the notion of soft systems has gained increasing traction as a counterpoint to permanent, static and hard systems. Acknowledging fluid and indeterminate situations with complex feedback loops that allow for reaction and adaption, the possibility of soft systems has re-entered the domain of design. Bracket 2 critically positions and defines soft systems through 27 projects and 12 articles. From soft politics, soft power and soft spaces to fluid territories, software and soft programming, Bracket 2 unpacks the use and role of responsive, indeterminate, flexible, and immaterial systems in design.
It is safe to say that architects and planners have always been among those striving for utopian ideals through physical space. Just look at the 20th century, when designers converged around the idea of creating new cities for lives that embraced new technologies. We had the Futurists who were obsessed with automobiles, speed and factory cities. We had CIAM and Team 10 who collectively and individually developed the modernist ideals for housing and urban planning. We had Archigram that developed conceptual creations for cities that walked, were inflatable, and could be packed and unpacked in locations all over the world. We had Superstudio, an architecture firm that developed renowned conceptual works of the “total urbanization” of architecture.
As impractical and experimental as some of these proposals were, they initiated a conversation, not only about the physical space that they presented, but the social implications of their designs. The latest issue of MAS CONTEXT, Improbable, tackles these “unlikely futures envisioned in the past that never became present” and explores how, to various degrees, these impossible and improbable agendas projects came to fruition. Join as after the break for a closer look at the new issue.
Xenoculture is a term coined by Iranian writer and philosopher Reza Negarestani that describes the need for embracing and exploring the unexpected, the alien. In this issue we borrow the idea and explore the realm of Architecture Xenoculture — the work of architects and designers who detach from everything that architecture is supposed to be and look like, including preconceived forms and aesthetics, to look into new architectural and design possibilities. An architectural form that emerges from mathematical processes and new material explorations and proposes something never before seen — an aesthetic yet to be determined.
While mathematics in architecture has historically referenced notions of order, proportion, and ideal form, the discipline of mathematics itself has shifted to encompass uncertainty, incompleteness, relativity, and chaos towards a situation in which truth itself is elusive. This move stems in part from an engagement with real phenomena, in which natural systems were shown to behave non-linearly and unpredictably. In architecture, while computational developments enabling dynamic and variable modeling have been subsumed into our culture of design and production, a new kind of idealism has emerged.
Fifth project of the Living Architectures series, Inside Piano is composed of three films on three symbolic buildings of Renzo Piano’s career. A visit throughout the prototype-building of the Centre Pompidou. An immersion in the soundproof world of a submarine floating in the depths of the Parisian underground. A journey aboard a luminous magic carpet of a highly sophisticated architectural machine. A humorous, caustic and quirky point of view.
Fourth project of the Living Architectures series, Gehry’s Vertigo offers to the spectator a rare and vertiginous trip on the top roofs of the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao. Through the portrait of the climbing team in charge of the glass cleaning, their ascensions, their techniques and difficulties, this film observes the complexity and virtuosity of Frank Gehry’s architecture.