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Architecture

Is this city being built up or torn down? Is it even the same city? The same streets? ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ Transformation processes are the focus of Georg Aerni’s new photographs. The Swiss photographer and artist shows plastic greenhouses that have annexed whole swathes of land for agricultural mass production, residential houses that have been built overnight on the city outskirts without construction machines and literally noiselessly. He points his lens at olive trees that have grown over centuries into figures full of character, at creepers that conquer leftover spaces between high-rises and motorways, and at mighty rock faces that are being gnawed by erosion.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ With the merging of art and documentation that is typical of Aerni’s work, Georg Aerni—Silent Transition makes the signs of change the object of a contemplative observation and at the same time asks challenging questions: about our handling of natural resources, about the social backgrounds to cities growing out of control, about the regenerative force of nature. ⁠⁠ Buy...

In architecture, the ground is usually used only as a passive foundation. This book explores the possibilities of buildings that merge with the ground, the earth and the landscape.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ The evolution of architecture is also an evolution away from nature. The 1960s was the key moment when buildings were at their most clinical. Since then, more and more architects are trying to reconnect with nature. They work with the landscape and the special features of the site. But of course, this is not an invention of the modern age, it is what architecture has been for millennia. And so this book embarks on a journey around the world and through the history of architecture in search of examples of buildings and building methods that are not only in harmony with the landscape, but also make use of its special characteristics. In this way, these buildings are almost an extension of the earth's crust. ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ One of the many fantastic examples are the churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia (seen in the first picture), which are not built upwards but downwards, literally carved out of the ground. You could call them a kind of negative architecture. ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ Many of these historical examples were previously undocumented, so this book also serves as a kind of archive with first architectural drawings of these buildings, categorising them and making connections between methods and aesthetics.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ Buy...

Do you remember Polly Pocket? As a child, you could carry your secret dream house around with you. A little plastic world in a case that looks like a powder compact. Personally, I was denied ownership of one of these kitschy dream houses, my parents didn't think much of plastic toys that make you dream of mainstream consumer objects. And yes maybe the aesthetic is questionable and yet it still has an appeal to me. It was the first time I dreamt of a house that wasn't my parents'. A symbol of independence. ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ This is one of the points of investigation in the first issue of Reference, a magazine devoted to living design, from the said Polly Pocket to Stonehenge and Superstudio and many more unusual examples.⁠⁠ Buy...

Xavier Corberó (1935–2017) is among the foremost Spanish artists of the last century. His sculptures in rough-hewn stone, marble, and bronze gave form to ideas running through a circle of contemporary surrealist artists. His works are widely and internationally celebrated in institutions like London’s V&A and New York’s The Met. But maybe his greatest artwork is located on the outskirts of Barcelona in the form of the home he built for himself! ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ Over a period of five decades, he created a series of labyrinthine rooms, levels, buildings and vaults, expanding them whenever he had money and re-planning them during morning walks with the local builder. The House of Xavier Corberó, edited by his daughter Ana Corberó, is the first publication to explore this house in Esplugues de Llobregat. It includes original photographs by Daniel Riera and a series of texts by long-time friends and colleagues of the artist: architects Ricardo Bofill and Josep Acebillo, World Architecture Festival programme director Paul Finch, artist and journalist Celia Lyttelton, RBTA director Pablo Bofill, and an interview by filmmaker Albert Moya with Corberó himself.⁠⁠ ⁠   Buy...

⁠In 1930, duck farmer Martin Maurer from Flanders, Long Island, decided to build a huge shop in the shape of a duck to advertise and sell the Peking ducks he bred. But in this fantastic little book you will also find a fruit shop in the shape of an orange, a dog grooming salon in the shape of a dog, a supermarket in the shape of a shopping basket and a hot dog shop in the shape of a hot dog. Unlike other buildings, they are the literal embodiment of a thing itself, widely displaying their function rather than hiding it behind four austere walls.⁠ ⁠ It is a tribute to Learning from Las Vegas - a book that first highlighted these structures and changed the world of architecture, and a tribute to these buildings themselves that enchant our grey days and make us question these anonymous concrete and glass bricks. What might our built environment look like if we gave free rein to creativity and expression?⁠   Buy...

"Once I made a snap shot of an ordinary haystack that reminded me of many other structures I had never seen. Long after the haystack was gone, I kept feeling the urge to discover what the image contained but did not reveal." By deconstructing and reassembling photographs of haystacks, Emile Gostelie discovers and creates new structures. The haystacks in this beautiful book vary from seemingly real to utopian. They seperate with their original meaning and take on new forms. They evoke the joy of order and the discomfort of a construction that threatens to collapse at any moment. ⁠ ⁠   Buy...

Charlotte Perriand was one of the great designers of the twentieth century. But she has been pushed into the shadows of iconic male designers because, well, let's face it, she's a woman. The cover of this publication is one of the most poignant testaments to that. Charlotte Perriand designed the famous chaise longue LC4 with Le Corbusier, but instead of being known as the creator of this design classic, she was for a long time just an ornament. Passively placed on it for a photo.⁠ ⁠ However, this publication sets things straight and highlights the impact she has had on the field of design. But Perriand was even more than a furniture designer of timeless classics. For her, architecture and furniture had to be considered in union to create the modern interior. She called her holistic approach "the art of living". This extensive and beautifully illustrated book traces her long career from the 1920s to the end of the century. It captures a modernist pioneer and hugely influential designer but also reveals Perriand the person: dynamic, sporting, socially minded and collaborative.⁠   Buy...

The relationship between architecture and its representation is peculiar. On the one hand architecture is driven by a belief in the built, the material, the real. On the other hand, it is presented, explained, and discussed almost entirely through drawings, models, photographs and other forms of representation.⁠ ⁠ ⁠Archetypes features a recent series by Canadian artist David K. Ross, who works at the interface of photography, film, and installation. His images of architectural models, staged at night with dramatic lighting that isolates structures from their surroundings, puts the mockup on the main stage.⁠ ⁠ Published alongside Ross’s images are four essays framing the historical, technological, and civic significance of the mock-up.⁠   Buy...

Eileen Gray is today one of the most celebrated designers and architects. But that was not always the case. Throughout her career, she struggled for acceptance as a woman in male-dominated professions. In Paris, she opened a gallery under the name Jean Désert that sold furniture and rugs. The gallery also served as an exhibition space for modern art, making Gray, albeit working under a male pseudonym, one of the first women gallerists.⁠ ⁠ She is best known, however, for her furniture, lighting, rugs, architecture, and especially for her signature Japanese lacquer technique, which she learned from Seizo Sugawara. ⁠ ⁠ Accompanying the exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery, organized by the Centre Pompidou, this richly illustrated catalog focuses on the diversity of Gray's design practices and explores the range of her architectural projects. It is divided into three sections: "Beginnings", which focuses on Gray's early life and education; "Being a Designer", which explores her career as a designer of furniture, rugs, and interiors; and "Being an Architect", which answers the prevailing question of whether Eileen Gray was an architect with a resounding yes.⁠ Buy...

When Heidi Weber first met Le Corbusier, she bought one of his artworks. But the encounter was not only to become a long-lasting friendship, but also a project that would bring the so-called "prodigal son of Swiss architecture", who had been lured away from his homeland by the prospect of bigger and bolder projects, back to Switzerland to create what would become his final work.⁠ ⁠ Weber convinced Le Corbusier to construct the planned pavilion entirely out of glass and steel, materials for which it would become iconic. Designed according to the architect's famous Modulor system, a scale of proportions designed to balance the dimensions of the human body with beauty and architecture, the building is topped by a floating steel roof that creates a seductive contrast between solidity and weightlessness. The pavilion was completed 1967 - two years after Le Corbusier's death.⁠ ⁠ The second exhibition at the now refurbished Pavillon Le Corbusier highlights the relationship between the Swiss architect of the century and the city of Zurich. It puts Zurich back into the light as an important point of reference for his work. With works of art, furniture, architectural models, photographs and historical documents, the exhibition shows the central role that Zurich - and not only Paris - played in Le Corbusier’s multifaceted oeuvre.⁠ Buy...