Thomas Phifer and Partners

Thomas Phifer and Partners

New York architect Thomas Phifer recently published his first monograph and shared the publication with us. The work matches our perception of Phifer’s architecture – elegent and pristine – as the pages are filled with exciting photography, capturing the essence of the buildings in their natural context. As Phifer shared when we interviewed him, “We really seek to open buildings up again…to nature and to the sun, to the sound of the wind; to bring back that sense of nature which is part of architecture.”

More about the monograph after the break.

The book shows a large range of Phifer’s work; yet, no matter the scale, the projects read of the same architectural vocabulary rooted in understanding the natural context the building must become part of, and the culture and demands of the users.

The photography depicts the projects at multiple times of day, throughout the different seasons.  This strategy allows the reader to experience how the buildings are designed to  fuse with the environment while exposing the natural beauty of the site.   The photography also emphasizes Phifer’s detailing and material selection, along with his keen interest in how the changing sun angles affect the spaces.

Interspered in the pages of photography lie different texts, written by Alastair Gordon and Stephen Fox, which provide an overview of Phifer’s lifestory; how he became interested in architecture, his early fascinations with light and space, and his developing architectural philosophies.

In the project descriptions,  the connection to the landscape is always mentioned as both a catalyst for design as well as a continuous influencial factor re-visited during design decisions.

After finishing the book, one is struck by Phifer’s thoughtfulness to design.  The projects seem to be of the site rather than simply placed upon, in the sense that their form and crisp aesthetics do not overburden the site but rather gracefully carry the programmatic requirements, all the while setting a peaceful atmosphere.

To view projects by Phifer previously featured on AD.

About this author
Cite: Karen Cilento. "Thomas Phifer and Partners" 25 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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