Shelf love: architecture books to lose yourself in
Here at Wallpaper*, we’re students for life. We’ve got books piling up on shelves, desks and floor space surrounding the bookcase despite minimalist efforts. These are the photographic tomes, architects’ monographs and limited editions that we couldn’t resist.
Thinking Outside the Box: Television Centre Reimagined
Few building complexes in London have captured the imagination of the British public (and beyond) like the Television Centre, formerly the place of production of beloved programmes, such as Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Top of the Pops, and Blue Peter. Now, this cultural icon and mid-century modernism landmark has been transformed into residences by AHMM and this new publication by Artifice Press celebrates the building’s journey. Authored by Wallpaper*’s very own editor-at-large Jonathan Bell the book offers thoughtful perspectives into the project through words, as well as an extensive array of new photography, drawings, plans and archival footage. Photography: Lee Mawdsley
Locatelli Partners: Dialogues – Architecture Interiors Design
Milanese firm Locatelli Partners – led by Massimiliano Locatelli and originally founded in 1993 by Locatelli as CLS Architetti together with Giovanna Cornelio and Annamaria Scevola – is one of the Italian metropolis’ most prolific architects. Now under its current name since 2018, the practice counts projects such as fashion retail, restaurants and numerous residential commissions under its belt; which meant timing was great to celebrate the studio’s ongoing work with a new book. Enter, Dialogues – Architecture Interiors Design, which launches this month by Rizzoli International. The book is a lavish edition, featuring 32 projects by the studio, as well as an entire section dedicated to design from the second half of the 1990s to today. Beautiful images and composition - a Locatelli Partners signature - are prevalent within the book, which tells the story of projects, materials, people and places, as well as the studio’s artful merging of traditional and contemporary. The publication was stylishly designed by Studio Karl Kolbitz.
Lever de rideau: A theatre in Cachan
Editor Rafaël Magrou and Ateliers O-S Architectes present a playful building study of the Jacques Carat Theater in Cachan near Paris by Ateliers O-S architects. Combining photography by Cyrille Weiner with a graphic short story by Lucas Harari and Alexis Jamet, and architectural plans and illustrations, this book tells the story of the transformation of an early 20th century local theatre building, into an animated culture centre. Beyond rebuilding and modernizing, the design extended out into the neighbourhood – a neighbouring tennis court became a public park. This unconventional book is a unique portrait of urban planning and architecture.
In Service of Undiscovered Life – Kristin Jarmund Architects
Arvinius + Orfeus Publishing
A new book charts the journey of architect Kristin Jarmund and the practice she founded in 1985. Characterised by simplicity, modern solutions with an emphasis on the human dimension, her architectural style first broke onto the scene with the Fyrstikkterrassen building, a multipurpose commercial building in Oslo. She then went on to design many important urban structures including Nydalen Metro Station, the award-winning Råholt School and the Norwegian Embassy in Kathmandu. Opening with a foreword by Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, an essay by Aaron Betsky and an in depth interview with Kristin Jarmund by the editor of the book, Tomas Lauri, the book then launches into four chapters that guide the reader through Jarmund’s key concepts. The first one, ‘Colour is a Material’, follows her use of colour and its significance to her work.
Eric Mendelsohn Synagogues
Four synagogues designed by Eric Mendelsohn are documented in colour by photographer Michael Palmer in this new book published by Lund Humphries. These four synagogues, are the built designs out of the seven that the German-Jewish architect created in America between 1946 and 1953. Writer Ita Heinze-Greenberg’s accompanying essay describes Mendelsohn’s relationship to Judaism and Zionism – including his interest in finding new architectural solutions for the post-war and post-Holocaust climate, when the duality of Jewish and American identity became more crucial than ever.
Edge of Order
Architect Daniel Libeskind beautifully encapsulates his guiding philosophies, inspirations and creative processes within a new monograph designed by Rodrigo Corral and written by Tim McKeough. Libeskind’s projects such as the Jewish Museum Berlin and the World Trade Center Master Plan have changed how we think about architecture today, and this publication provides a window into how he has achieved these provocative designs. The book weaves together text and design to reveal his personal creative history through sketches, notes, plans, and photographs surrounding some of his key projects: ‘This process is not always neat and tidy, or linear. Sometimes the components fall neatly in order, one after another; other times they’re all in play at once. But describing them as a sequence provides a framework for my ideas, and a path forward,’ says Libeskind.
Snøhetta: Collective Intuition
Phaidon has just unveiled the first monograph on Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta in over a decade. This book is a rich tome that explores the internationally acclaimed practice’s work, by showcasing its extensive and wide-ranging portfolio; it is also designed to mark a key anniversary, the studio’s 30th (Snøhetta was founded in 1989 by Craig Dykers and Kjetil Traedel Thorsen). The beautiful publication features 24 new essays on 24 projects from the last decade. The book, produced in close collaboration between subject and publisher, not only looks at the completed works as standalone pieces of architecture; but it also examines their everyday life and legacy, and their part in their users’ lives. Gorgeous imagery, detailed drawings and a chronological list of projects, ensure this book is as informative as it is aesthetically pleasing. Photography: Michael Grimm
Midwest Architecture Journeys
A group of architects, critics, and journalists unite for an architectural road trip across the Mid-west, visiting works by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as lesser known buildings such as the New Glarus Brewing’s Hilltop Brewery in Wisconsin and Eliel Saarinen’s Christ Church Lutheran in Minnesota. Pitched at travellers and architecture fans alike, this coffee table book, edited by Zach Mortice with an introduction by Alexandra Lange, presents each building case study with a black and white photography and short text.
Contours & Horizons: Reiulf Ramstad Architects
A new monograph brings together the ‘unpretentious’ and ‘simple’ architecture of Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects (RRA). The studio was founded by Norwegian architect Reiulf Ramstad in 1995, who has referenced Aldo Rossi, Carlo Scarpa, and Sverre Fehn as influences on his work. While presenting a broad selection of projects, this books looks specifically at RRA buildings in the context of Scandinavia. Within the book, the architecture of RRA is complemented by essays from artists, philosophers, and architectural critics who explore the state of contemporary architecture today. The book was launched alongside an exhibition at the Utzon Centre in Aalborg, Denmark that investigates what it means to be a Nordic architect in a globalised era.
AB Concept: A Cultural Journey through Light, Form, and Space
AB Concept co-founders Ed Ng and Terence Ngan set up their joint Hong Kong operation two decades ago and have since seemingly taken over the world of luxury interiors in the residential and hospitality fields; and with good reason, as their striking designs are sensual, meticulous and multi-layered, bringing their own unique brand of east-west fusion in an exciting journey of storytelling. Now, a range of their projects can be perused in a new tome by specialist publisher Assouline. The hefty publication includes a variety of hospitality flagships around the world, such as their Mei Ume restaurant in London’s Trinity Square. Not only will the reader be able to follow the practice’s work through iconic and experimental works, getting a unique insight into the brand’s mind and processes, but they will also be taken through an enticing journey around the world, as well as a true visual feast. The book features words by Paola Singer. Photography: Owen Raggett
Peter Salter: Walmer Yard
A new book published by Circa traces the decade-long development of Walmer Yard, an experimental residential project in Notting Hill designed by architect Peter Salter. The complex, an intense collage of materials and techniques, now houses the Baylight Foundation a charitable organisation that works towards increasing the public understanding of what architecture can do. Combining Salter’s pen-and-ink drawings, with photographs by Hélène Binet and accounts from collaborators including Fenella Collingridge and developer Crispin Kelly, the book unravels a narrative of the complex. Read more about Walmer Yard here
Architects’ Houses by Michael Webb
Thames & Hudson
This fascinating publication, authored by Michael Webb, peeks into the houses of some of the world’s leading architects, investigating their design statements, as each one reflects the tastes, approach and personality of its author and owner. Pictured here is Tower house in New York State by Peter and Thomas Gluck, where living spaces are cantilevered from a stack of three bedrooms to command sweeping views over the tree tops. The project, published by Thames & Hudson, comprises 30 pioneering houses and their architects, who talk about what inspired them and how their concepts came to become reality. Pictured here, the striking Swartberg house in South Africa by Jennifer Beningfield, featuring simple blocks of brick faced in rough plaster plays off the beauty of the landscape. The architects in the book include established names, such as Norman Foster, Thom Mayne, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien – and the projects vary in size, scope, context and material, offering a thrilling read. Pictured here, architect Todd Saunders’ Villa S in Bergen, Norway. Here, the main living spaces are raised off the ground to minimise the footprint and provide shelter from frequent rain. Photography: Richard Davies, courtesy Openstudio Architects
Ehrlich Yanai Outside-In: New California Modernism
The Monacelli Press
This book takes readers on a journey from Venice Beach to Palo Alto through 15 recent private residential projects of architects Steven Ehrlich and Takashi Yanai, principals of Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects (EYRC). Design writer Zahid Sardar charts the subtle variations of regional Californian modernism in the introduction as an entry into the work of EYRC. He describes Ehrlich’s theories of ‘multicultural modernism’, an architecture equipped with ideas from time spent in Morocco and Nigeria. And the interests of Yanai, born in Japan and later raised in Southern California, who draws from traditional Japanese architecture and a love of nature. Sardar summarises: ‘Timeless in concept, Ehrlich and Yanai’s practical, modern, interactive, and sometimes quixotic house designs “borrow” views, erase the lines between interiors and exteriors, and bring the outside in.’ Pictured above is Ehrlich Yanai’s Spectral Bridge House – a collaboration with artist Johannes Girardoni, who created an immersive art experience of shades of light that bounce through the monolithic blocks of architecture.
Box Set #25: Lacroix Chessex
Swiss architecture practice Lacroix Chessex teamed up with renowned photographer Joël Tettamanti to produce a carefully curated set of five books, each focusing on one of the dynamic practice’s individual projects. The Geneva based studio has graced the pages of Wallpaper* more than once with their striking architectural compositions of modernist-inspired work. The work of partners Hiéronyme Lacroix and Simon Chessex has already won numerous awards, including the ’best single house 2018 award’ for their Villa Sandmeier, which is featured in this publication. In these books, and seen through Tettamanti’s sensitive but also dramatic photography, is a selection of the architects’ work, spanning private houses, a larger residential scheme and a nursery. The prohects included are: Maison aux Jeurs, Valais (2013); Chalet Noisette, Swiss Alps (2008); Villa Sandmeier, Geneva (2014); Creche in La Chapelle-Les Sciers, Geneva (2015); Student house, The Graduate Institute, Geneva (2012). Writer: Ellie Stathaki. Photography: Joel Tettamanti
Architectural drawings by the likes of Michelangelo, Frank Gehry, Louise Bourgeois, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Grafton Architects and Luis Barragán are brought together in this book. Spanning geography and time, over 250 drawings are printed on textured uncoated paper with deckled edges and displayed in pairs with an illustrated chronology at the back of the book. The drawings, introduced by Helen Thomas, architect and writer, represent many different parts of the design process – from dreaming and doodling, experimenting and visualising, to planning and prepping for construction. Some sketches are realistic renderings of buildings, while others are totally abstracted visions or careful, close-up details. Each unique drawing is accompanied by text explaining its meaning and purpose to the architect. Architects drawings are often overlooked, yet are true works of art. From historic Japanese scrolls to Chamberlin Powell and Bonn’s intricate illustration for the Barbican cultural centre, architecture begins its life on paper.
Radical Essex by Hayley Dixon and Joe Hill
Focal Point Gallery
Following up on the 2016 event that explored the lesser known modernist gems of Essex, ‘Radical Essex’ is a book documenting the British region’s mid-century works and celebrates its vibrant, pioneering thinking throughout the 20th century. The archive material included in the book ranges from a weekend celebrating modernist architecture in Essex, to an exhibition charting the history of the county’s experimental communities. Pictured here, the Bata Estate, East Tilbury (2016). Essex ‘lays claim to being the birthplace of British modernism’, say the authors. Indeed, the country’s earliest building of this style, the Clockhouse Way Estate, was built on the outskirts of Braintree. The county also played host to architectural experiments, such as the two new towns of Harlow and Basildon. Pictured here, the Redshank in Lee-over-Sands (2016). The book is illustrated with photography from award-winning photographer Catherine Hyland, who worked in residence for the Radical Essex project. Complementing the beautiful visuals, the project includes specially written essays by Tim Burrows, Gillian Darley, Charles Holland, Rachel Lichtenstein, Jules Lubbock, Jess Twyman and Ken Worpole. Pictured here, the Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend-on-Sea (2016). Photography: Catherine Hyland, Courtesy of Focal Point Gallery
Chilean architecture practice Elemental may not be even 20 years old, but it has already made its mark on the 21st-century architecture scene. Now, an especially curated monograph cataloguing the inspirational studio’s work over the years has been released by Phaidon, celebrating the five partners’ – Alejandro Aravena, Gonzalo Arteaga, Juan Cerda, Victor Oddó and Diego Torres – tireless pursuit for great architecture. The way the book is put together represents well the firm’s design approach; it is meticulously planned, delving into a wealth of drawings and sketches that tell the story behind the practice’s history and its growing list of commissions. Looking at Elemental’s approach and working practice through engaging storytelling and rigorous architecture representation, this tome combines never-before-published images by the studio and renowned architectural photographers in a true visual feast for architecture buffs. There is a very useful and interesting timeline of Elemental’s work to-date, as well as texts describing projects but also wider themes, like the origins of the practice, by 2016 Pritzker Prize winner Aravena.
Writer: Ellie Stathaki. Photography: Elemental
Archigram – The Book
Designed and edited by Dennis Crompton, ‘Archigram – The Book’ presents the history and work of the celebrated architectural collective founded in the 1960s that inspired buildings such as the Pompidou in Paris and the High Tech movement. Archigram member, Crompton, has worked on the book over a period of 40 years to document the illustrated theories, mind-boggling designs and progressive ideas of Archigram into one impressive tome. The rebellious group created an experimental and optimistic, functionalist style of architecture that they spread over 14 years of productivity, which the book brings together into one colourful catalogue of designs of cities, infrastructures and concepts, with commentaries by architects and critics, tracing the group’s creative output that traversed mediums and countries. Archigram published their first manifesto, titled ‘Living City’ in 1963, edited by Reyner Banham, as well as an ongoing series of magazines that circulated out their radical ideas. Participating in the 14th Milan Triennale launched the group into international orbit and Archigram’s work continues to be relevant to architects across the world today.
Garcia Tamjidi Architecture Design: 20 Years
San Francisco-based architecture and interiors firm Garcia Tamjidi is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a carefully designed tome that looks back at its projects and overall approach over the years. Beautifully written by Eva Hagberg Fischer and designed by Public, the publication offers valuable insights from practice directors Michael Garcia and Farid Tamjidi on what it means to build in Frisco. The publication fits within a custom made envelope and the design reflects the practice’s thoughtful and minimalist architectural approach. A selection of projects, including residential, office and product design, help introduce the firm’s priorities, presented through the lens of key architectural elements: lines, shapes and colours. Writer: Ellie Stathaki. Photography: Joe Budd
Konrad Wachsmann and the Grapevine Structure
Wachsmann developed the Grapevine construction element with students during his tenure at the Chicago Institute of Design, now part of Illinois Institute of Technology. The book highlights other important projects including the Packaged House System, his relocatable hangars for the US Air Force and the Local Orientation Manipulator (LOM), developed with John Bollinger and Xavier Mendoza at the University of California, Los Angeles. As well as diagrams and archive material related to the projects, the book features texts by a number of contributors. Notably, an essay by Andreas Burkhalter on Wachsmann’s legendary knotted joints in the context of possible similar structures in the human brain, and a conversation by Marko Pogacnik with architects Hermann Czech and Friedrich Kurrent on Wachsmann’s lectures at the Salzburg Summer Academy.
Rene Gonzalez Architects: Not Lost in Translation
The Monacelli Press
The new monograph on the work of Rene Gonzalez surveys the Miami-based architect’s works, spanning 14 residential, commercial, and cultural projects in Florida. It also explores his concerns and investigations on the environmental issues that are affecting the world – and the way rising sea levels, specifically, will change the way we design. The book includes the architect’s own photographs of Miami’s vernacular architecture, as well as his projects such as three Alchemist boutiques, the first of which won the 2011 National AIA Institute Honor Award, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, and several private houses. On the left, the striking, 18-storey Glass Residential Tower in Miami Beach also forms part of the beautifully curated tome, which includes essays from Modern Magazine editor Beth Dunlop, journalist Caroline Roux, and architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Photography: Mark Stavaridis
California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture
Marvin Rand’s iconic photographs have helped define California’s instantly recognisable mid-century modern aesthetic, and now, a new book from Phaidon by Emily Bills, Sam Lubell and Pierluigi Serraino is out to celebrate the work of the American photographer. Up till now an unsung hero of his time, Rand left a rich archive, which was discovered in 2012 by one of the book’s writers and West Coast editor of the Architect’s Newspaper, Sam Lubell. The archive is a true treasure trove of material and consists of more than 50,000 negatives and transparencies. Working with architect, author and educator Pierluigi Serraino and participating adjunct professor of Urban Studies at Woodbury University Emily Bills, Lubell curated a carefully composed tome that explores Rand’s photography and showcases the broad range of architecture captured through his lens in a beautifully produced book.
Arquitectonica is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a hefty monograph by Alastair Gordon that looks back into the practice’s rich body of work. The international firm has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Lima and Sao Paulo and is led by principals Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear, who work with modern materials and contemporary forms to create architecture of a wide range of scale and typologies. The book, authored by Alastair Gordon, explores the frequently large-scale, groundbreaking work of the practice that is behind instantly recognisable architecture pieces such as Regalia tower on Sunny Isles Beach in Miami, pictured here. There’s an extensive selection of projects to enjoy, as the firm has work in 58 countries across five continents. Photography: Mike Kelley
Post-Modern Buildings in Britain by Geraint Franklin and Elain Howard
Authors Geraint Franklin and Elain Howard pay homage to Britain’s finest examples of post-modern buildings and the architects who ‘formed the backbone’ of the post-modern style in Britain. Their principle of ‘more is more’ and the style’s hybrid vocabulary was hard to define, but shaped a legacy that, though often overlooked or diminished, has been profound. Pictured here, one of London’s rediscovered post-modern landmarks is the Isle of Dogs Pumping Station on Stewart Street in the borough of Tower Hamlets, which was designed in 1986-8 by John Outram Associates and listed Grade II* in 2017, which features in the book. As opposed to the dominant practice of early 20th-century modernism, post-modernism offered urban buildings that engaged with their surroundings and could propose metaphors and symbols for many ideas simultaneously – ‘British post-modernism’ in particular, write the authors, ‘remained more contextual than that of other countries, strong in its references not only to classicism but also to Dutch brick traditions, art deco, the English Arts and Crafts Movement and the Vienna Secession’. Pictured here, the notorious One Poultry in Bank, City of London. Designed 1986-8 and built 1994-8; listed Grade II* in 2016; designed by James Stirling, Michael Wilford & Associates. Photography: Derek Kendall / Historic England
Insert Complicated Title Here by Virgil Abloh with Oana Stanescu
Havard GSD and Sternberg Press
This book from ‘The Incidents’ series co-published by the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Sternberg Press is the sixth in the series documenting ‘uncommon events’ at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the book is a transcript of a talk by Abloh on October 26, 2017, that reveals his ‘cheat codes’ for working and designing. Jennifer Sigler, editor-in-chief at Harvard GSD, wanted to find a way to capture, preserve and communicate the spirit of various happenings at the school, such as Abloh’s talk, within the medium of the printed word, which is why she began the series. ‘Insert Complicated Title Here’ is a casually rolling transcript – even more colloquial and direct because it’s Abloh. He thanks Harvard for letting him come along to ‘share random things’ on his laptop. ‘I wish that when I was a student, one person would have given me one ounce of advice that wasn’t: The rest of your career will be an uphill battle. But instead: There are all these shortcuts that you can take,’ he says. He’s so right. The book shares slides from Abloh’s presentation. His cheat codes are laid out in white helvetica caps on black. They guide you towards finding your own signature and DNA. His sense of fearlessness, delivered through his surety in these codes, and his optimism is infectious.
David Chipperfield Architects monograph edited by Rik Nys
David Chipperfield Architects
‘Architecture remains site-specific, not only in ideological terms, but above all in its locations,’ said Rik Nys, director of communications at David Chipperfield Architects, at the launch of the studio’s new monograph. Nys is the editor of the hefty tome designed by John Morgan Studio that summarises the work of DCA to date and beyond – Chipperfield won’t be retiring anytime soon. The monograph opens with Chipperfield establishing architecture practically as a response to conditions and aspirations, and admirably as a product of collective efforts, across the office and with collaborators. From the Architecural Association, to the offices of Foster and Rogers, to when he opened his own office in London in 1985, Chipperfield’s architectural past and understanding is laid out like foundations in a following text by architectural historian Fulvio Irace. Irace credits Chipperfield’s empathy for historic settings and landscapes to his early career working on redevelopment projects in Europe, referencing a poignant Chipperfield quote that belies the vision alongside the practicality: ‘I think we are in a continuum, and that our responsibility is to find clues in memory and context.’ Like many monographs, projects chronologically ordered and grounded by opening texts, yet this monograph reaches superior status through its incredibly restrained and evenly-paced formatting that glides across the whole volume. It is a monograph that flows like a scroll. In such a fluid way in fact that it also celebrates a decade of DCA working with John Morgan Studio, the designers behind the firm’s trademark typeface.
A New History of Modern Architecture
Laurence King Publishing
There’s a new authority on the history of architecture: Laurence King Publishing has released A New History of Modern Architecture by Colin Davies, architect and former editor of The Architects’ Journal, a hefty yet accessible tome that readdresses the canon of 20th- and 21st-century architecture. Pictured here, the National Grand Theatre designed by Paul Andreu in Beijing, China. The enveloping dome sits in the middle of an artificial lake behind the Great Hall of the People in Bejing. Built in 2007, French architect Paul Andreu worked with Tsinghua University on the design. Visual and approachable, with 800 illustrations, the book corrects the fetishisation of European Modernism and reapportions credit elsewhere across the globe with chapters on the American skyscraper and Chinese modern architecture amongst other international styles and forms. Pictured here, the National Assembly Building of Bangladesh deisgned by Louis Kahn in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The symmetrical, octogonal-shaped building sits overlooking a V-shaped artificial lake, with a reflection evoking 17th-century Mughal architecture. Photography: Alamy Stock Photo / Bernard O’Kane
Spectrum by John Pawson
It turns out tht master of minimalism John Pawson also has a painterly approach to pigment. We first saw hints of such a trait in his first tome A Visual Inventory (2012) – a journey through the details, textures, spatial qualities that inspire him – but in the newly released Spectrum, the architect’s colour thesis is given the opportunity to explode. Organised by hue, the visual library kicks off in the whites and light greys moving methodically through the entire colour spectrum, concluding theatrically with midnight blacks. It’s as if the strict privation of colour that typifies much of Pawson’s architecture – think of the London’s starkly greyscale Design Museum, or the concrete caverns of The Feuerle Collection – here gives way to blushing, staining, tinting expression. Image courtesy of Phaidon
Seth Stein Architects by Kenneth Powell
Since 1990, Seth Stein has worked across typologies of residential and commerical architecture, attracting much interest and prasie for his work that combines striking scrulptural form with elegance. This monograph brings together a range of projects with 204 coloured images, yet also reveals insight into the practice’s ethos and design processes including material and building method innovation and an interest in environmental sustainability. Pictured here, the Equestrian Centre built in Australia in 2014, featuring a strong, curved rear wall made of rammed earth. Stein’s architecture ranges from coastal retreats to revitalisations of historic townhouses and palazzos. His work preserves and communicates its context, connecting with its natural or urban landscape. Pictured here on the right, the Beach House in North Caicos bulit in 2006 which features jalousie and bug screens that transform the buildings into two lanterns in the evening. On the left, the Archipelago House in Finland built in 2000. Photography: Lisbeth Grosmann
Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums by Maryam Omidi
‘Visiting a sanatorium is like stepping back in time,’ writes Maryam Omidi in Holidays in Soviet Sanatoriums, in which she takes the reader on a health-conscious journey into a world of peeling wallpaper, statues of Lenin and alternative, new world medicine. Part health-spa, part hospital, sanatoriums once offered a ubiquitous, ‘decidedly purposeful’ pastime, explains Omidi. Their function was ‘to provide rest and recuperation, so citizens could return to work with renewed diligence and productivity’. This rapidly developing need and popularity saw 1,829 new sanatoriums built across the USSR by 1939. Here, for the first time, is an architecturally-led account of what happened. From Stalinist, neo-classical grandeur in Abkhazia to Khrushchyovka concrete blocks in Armenia, a bewildering array of styles is on display. There are examples of rare Soviet-era architectural flourishes – take the green-marbled walls of Tskaltubo in Georgia – which were only allowed, writes critic Diane Koenker, because sanatoriums ‘were intended to astonish, encouraging a “less traditional approach”’ to municipal building. Pictured here, Klyazma sanatorium, built in 1963 around the Klyazminsky Resevoir on the outskirts of Moscow.