Hot topic: a new book delves into postmodernist architecture
The debate on postmodernism, and its value and legacy, have been ongoing in the architecture world ever since the style’s emergence in the field in the 1960s. Now, one of its main protagonists, British architect Sir Terry Farrell, contributes key thoughts to the discussion by uniting with designer Adam Nathaniel Furman on a new book that revisits the genre.
Produced by RIBA Publishing, Revisiting Postmodernism invites readers to not only delve into the postmodern movement in architecture once more, exploring the style right from its very beginning, but also to examine its ongoing relevance today, from both an architectural, and a wider cultural perspective.
The authors cast a wide net, looking at several case studies both in the UK and internationally, in order to establish the genre’s historical significance and place. Key buildings, such as Robert Venturi’s Vanna House in Philadelphia (1964) and Clifton Nurseries in London by Sir Terry Farrell (1980), are mentioned throughout, illustrating Farrell and Furman’s engaging thought process.
‘In this book Adam and I concentrated on revisiting perceptions of postmodernism in architecture,’ said Farrell. ‘We wanted to share a genuine appreciation of the buildings, architects and ideas that made the era such fertile ground for architectural invention.’
The book is addressed, the authors explain, to those ‘who are unfamiliar with the architectural period’, but no doubt it can serve as a valuable reminder and reference to the more informed reader as well.
With Farrell’s first-hand experience of the movement’s peak, and Furman’s fresh appreciation through a more historical and cultural lens, the pair hope to inject their own, rich perspective into one of the most captivating and controversial current dialogues in contemporary architecture.