Month: July 2015

Architectural Styles: Owen Hopkins

In the introduction to his visual guide to Architectural Styles, Owen Hopkins lets the reader know that architectural “style” is a 19th century creation, something that enabled architectural historians to chart developments in the appearances of buildings over time. But 220 pages later, in the book’s postscript, he asks, “In the face of ever-increasing architectural variety…what possibilities are there for ‘style’?” In both instances, Hopkins appears to be arguing against the validity of architectural style and the need for a book documenting one. Yet alas, he has written a book on such a topic, and with its focus on the visual, the book is a good introduction for students of architecture and laypeople with an interest in architecture, and a handy reference for architects who have forgotten what they learned in their history classes. In the book’s chronological format, there is an obvious move from simplicity to complexity, from “one” classical style to a plethora of styles, or, more accurately, a plurality of architects creating their own styles. The book starts with a chapter on …

Renzo Piano Building Workshop: Complete Works Volume 5

It’s 23 years since the first of Peter Buchanan’s monumental volumes on Renzo Piano appeared. The latest edition features projects completed between 2000 and 2007, plus several that are recently realised, including the London Bridge Tower (‘The Shard’). In total, the books record more than 30 years of achievement since Piano and his then partner Richard Rogers achieved instant superstar status with the completion of Paris’ Pompidou Centre in 1977. It is hard to think of any project in the intervening years that has failed to meet the expectations of Piano’s multitude of admirers. He is the archetypal architect’s architect, a pioneer who leads where others follow–for example, in the virtuoso use of materials such as timber, stone, brick and glass. Among the 14 projects recorded here (in meticulous detail, in tune with the expansive tone of the Phaidon series) are the New York Times office tower, Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and the Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church. Also included are the final phases of the Lingotto Factory Conversion …

Chandigarh Redux

Sixty years on, Werner Feiersinger’s CHANDIGARH REDUX constitutes a new chapter in the narrative. This collection of his photographs – in which he looks at the city’s architecture with the keen eye of a sculptor – casts the work of Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, Jane B. Drew, and E. Maxwell Fry in a new light. Werner Feiersinger captures the architecture’s solid, sculptural qualities, as well as Chandigarh’s vivid atmosphere and virtuosity. By Andreas Vass Chandigarh was the invention of a small group of technicians and administrative officers in Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s inner circle in the administration oft he East Punjab. The hesitant skeptical, factious, notoriously penniless and oft-changing leadership oft he new Indian state, which emerged from the partition immediately following the liberation of India in 1947, had come to this decision entirely on its own. Nehru and the planning staff headed by P.N. Thapar und P.L. Varma selected a handful of American and European architects and urban planners to design the city. The implementation and development of Chandigarh has been the achievement of Indian engineers, …

Architecture is a Language: Daniel Libeskind

Daniel Libeskind believes that buildings are crafted with perceptible human energy, and that they address the greater cultural context in which they are built. Best known for designing iconic buildings like the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Libeskind also designed the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre and the masterplan for the new World Trade Center site in New York City. His commitment to expanding the scope of architecture reflects his profound interest and involvement in philosophy, art, literature and music. Architecture is a Language: Daniel Libeskind

MIES by Detlef Mertins

Spanning sixty years, two continents and two world wars, based first in Berlin and then in Chicago, Mies van der Rohe’s career was a complex one, marked by discontinuities and struggles as much as continuities and success. Little wonder then that Phaidon’s new book, Mies – pretty much consumed the final decade of its author, curator architect and writer, Detlef Mertins. Mertins read everything written by and on Mies van der Rohe, travelled to all of his buildings and conducted an incredibly detailed study of the architectural, philosophical and scientific literature in Mies’ own libary. To describe the book that sprang from all this research as merely ‘exhaustive’ is to bring new meaning to the word understatement. Farnsworth House, Plano, Ilinois, (1945-51) – Mies van der Rohe As Mertins writes, in retrospect the trajectory of Mies van der Rohe’s career was less inexorable and more contingent upon changing contexts, challenges, clients and collaborators. While there are certainly continuities between them, how different the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois (1945–50) is from the Barcelona Pavilion (1928–9), and …

10 Stories Of Collective Housing: Graphical Analysis Of Inspiring Masterpieces

In the first line I have to mention that this book researched by a+t opens up a new horizon for understanding the housing perspective. I have hardly come across a book so well illustrated, analysed and more over interestingly presented. Ten collective housing has been discussed in ten separate chapters while bringing in necessary references and similar ideas from around the world. This is a must have for every scholar of architecture as well as practitioners and faculty members. The introduction of each architect (even responsible for little known or little documented projects) in a separate way makes a completely useful guide and abolishes the need to look it up at the library or internet further. This well documented publication has the capability of doing away with the need for further references at one pass. Learn more here: http://aplust.net/tienda/libros/%20%20%20%20%20/10%20Stories%20of%20Collective%20Housing/busqueda/10%20stories/ Graphics Credits:  a+t reseach group

THE BUILDINGS THAT REVOLUTIONIZED ARCHITECTURE by Isabel Kuhl & Florian Heine

THE BUILDINGS THAT REVOLUTIONIZED ARCHITECTURE by Isabel Kuhl & Florian Heine is a great source book which showcases 100 buildings around the world. It ranges from Taj Mahal of India to Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, from Brunelleschi’s Ospedale Degli Innocenti in Florence, to Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion. Fitting to this chronological order, 100th building is David Child’s One World Trade Centre. With full bleed great pictures and sharp story that surround each architectural marvel this book will go a great length space to arrive at any reader curious about architecture. This record is not just intended for architecture students or professionals, but general readers also will be equally attracted to the marvels of this book. Glamourous photographs of each building are featured in full bleed spreads, which also contain brief texts offering fascinating histories and contextual information, as well as biographies of the architects. The book also includes a glossary at the back of the book that elucidates vital terms, a must for any non-architect readers. A priceless overview to the world of …