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Monographs: The Latest Architecture and News

From Concrete to Paper: Tadao Ando's Recent Works Displayed in New Monograph

Throughout his distinguished career, Pritzker award winner Tadao Ando managed to trigger every human’s sensations upon entering his structures. It was never just the buildings’ forms that let the architect earn his status, but the manipulation of light and shadow and the impulsive sensation of sanctity that his buildings impose, are what led him to become one of the world’s most renowned architects.

To showcase Ando’s recent works and to honor their ongoing relationship with the architect, Oris House of Architecture have created a monograph titled Transcending Oppositions, celebrating his buildings and their relationship with the contemporary culture of Japan. Judging this book by its cover, readers will have a clear notion of what to expect, as the monograph reflects Tadao Ando’s architecture on fine print.

Courtesy of Oris Kuća ArhitektureCourtesy of Oris Kuća ArhitektureCourtesy of Oris Kuća ArhitektureCourtesy of Oris Kuća Arhitekture+ 7

"MAD Works: MAD Architects" Introduced by Sir Peter Cook

The skylines of modern China are punctuated by architecture that amazes, inspires, and awes. Many of these towering structures are the work of the Beijing-based experimental practice MAD Architects, led by Ma Yansong.

People often ask what 'MAD' stands for; sometimes, I explain it stands for MA Design, but I like MAD (adjective) Architects better. It sounds like a group of architects with an attitude towards design and practice. I think it is important to practice architecture with an attitude, to be critical and sensitive to the issues and challenges in our world.

Sauerbruch Hutton Invite Reflection On How We Perceive, Discuss, and Produce Architecture

Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch, of Berlin-based practice Sauerbruch Hutton, have recently published Archive 2 – a second series of monographic volumes dedicated to the work of their practice between 2006 and 2015. In the nine years between two sets of books, the architects have observed that "the expansion of the digital realm has had a profound effect on the way we perceive, discuss and produce architecture." As such, and on the occasion of their second volume, they are inviting people to share their thoughts "on the convergence of architecture in concrete, pixel and print."

People, Place, Purpose: How Mecanoo's Architecture Aspires to More than Style

In 1996 Mecanoo transformed a former Lutheran church in the heart of Amsterdam into a theatre for De Trust. Image © Christian Richters
In 1996 Mecanoo transformed a former Lutheran church in the heart of Amsterdam into a theatre for De Trust. Image © Christian Richters

In "People, Place, Purpose," the latest monograph of her Delft-based firm Mecanoo, Francine Houben explores the unique work which has enabled the firm to take their place among the world-renowned pantheon of Dutch architects. In the following excerpt from the book, Herbert Wright presents an introduction to the monograph and the themes running through Mecanoo's work in general, breaking down an architecture that is defined not by style or ego but by three overarching responsibilities - and perhaps a dash of color.

On a computer screen, architects can move virtual walls around with just a few clicks, but surely only superheroes can shift an actual wall around physically with their bare hands? So it was quite a surprise, while standing in the Saint Mary of the Angels Chapel in Rotterdam, to see Francine Houben, founding partner of Mecanoo, do precisely that. After some gentle fussing and tidying around the lectern and candles where the priest conducts ceremonies, she walks to a wall, and puts her hands firmly to it. It recedes to let in the sound of tree branches swaying in the wind passing through the cemetery outside.

Oil on wood depicting the Mecanoo Headquarters on Oude Delft 203, 205 and 207 by Paulus Constantijn la Fargue, 1759Saint Mary of the Angels Chapel, Rotterdam, 2001. Image © Christian RichtersIn 1996 Mecanoo transformed a former Lutheran church in the heart of Amsterdam into a theatre for De Trust. Image © Christian RichtersLibrary of Birmingham, Birmingham, 2013. Image © Harry Cock+ 12

Ingrid Böck's "Six Canonical Projects by Rem Koolhaas" Dissects the Ideas that have Made Koolhaas' Career

Seattle Central Library. Image © Ramon Prat
Seattle Central Library. Image © Ramon Prat

First published in May, Six Canonical Projects by Rem Koolhaas by Ingrid Böck reveals the logic behind Koolhaas’ projects and the ideas and themes running through his career. Incredibly thorough in her analysis, Böck aims to correct what she views as an absence of complete studies on an architect who has had an enormous influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Böck presents these six projects, which include Koolhaas’ thesis project “Exodus, or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture,” Ville Nouvelle Melun-Sénart, Maison Bordeaux, the Dutch Embassy in Berlin, the Seattle Central Library, and the CCTV Headquarters, because they most directly explore six concepts prominent throughout Koolhaas’ work: Wall, Void, Montage, Trajectory, Infrastructure, and Shape.

Sigurd Lewerentz, Architect (1885–1975)

Sigurd Lewerentz is one of Europe's greatest, relatively unsung 20th century architects. He was educated as a mechanical engineer at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, but it was an architectural apprenticeship in Munich that set him on his career path — a path that "led him to be revered as one of Sweden’s most eminent architects." This sought after reprint of Janne Ahlin's seminal monograph has now been made available once again.

Sigurd Lewerentz at around the age of eighty. As always, elegantly attired, and with his cigar as faithful companion. © Photo Karl-Erik Olsson Snogeröd. Image Courtesy of Park BooksSt. Mark’s Church in Björkhagen, 1960. © Pål-Nils Nilsson/TIO. Image Courtesy of Park BooksInterior of St. Gertrude’s Chapel. © C. G. Rosenberg. Image Courtesy of Park BooksChapel of the Resurrection. Photo from the 1920’s. © Swedish Museum of Architecture. Image Courtesy of Park Books+ 11

The Architectural Monograph is Here to Stay

The monograph is a popular platform for dissemination and debate in the art and design world, yet architectural monographs are often treated with suspicion – viewed more as a self-serving PR exercise. But do monographs actually have a more substantive role within the practice of architecture? This was the backdrop for a discussion entitled ‘Why a Monograph?’ held at Waterstones Piccadilly as part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture. The participants included Jay Merrick, architecture correspondent of The Independent; Simon Henley of Henley Halebrown Rorrison (HHbR); David Grandorge, architectural photographer and Senior Lecturer at London’s CASS; and Ros Diamond of Diamond Architects. The session was chaired by ArchDaily Editor James Taylor-Foster.

How Has The Monograph Become A Default In Architectural Publishing?

It's common to find an architectural monograph (or three) on an architect's bookshelf. Within the pages of these large, heavy, often expensive tomes lie a formalised portfolio of a studio's professional output, interspersed by essays penned by influential writers, thinkers or practitioners. They are sources of both information and inspiration, bringing architecture from around the world into your personal field of vision.

Recent years have seen a vast number of these types of books published on architects and their practices, begging the question: Why a Monograph? Are they simply part and parcel of a studio's creative process, or necessary tools for communication with the wider world? Perhaps more interestingly, what role does the recording of work in this way have for architects in enabling them to take stock and move forward? It will seek to examine how the print monograph has become a staple tool for self-promotion, reflection, and criticism in a world which is leaning towards a gradual digitisation of the discourse.