Le Corbusier: The Chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut at Ronchamp
By Maria Antonietta Crippa and Françoise Caussé
Ronchamp is a building that needs no introduction yet demands the in-depth coverage of its very own monograph. Le Corbusier completed the church in 1954, a virtuoso composition of concrete, wood and stained glass that sits atop a hill and offers up a now instantly familiar silhouette to pilgrims, be they religious or architectural. This new book is effectively a biography of a building that has found itself at the heart of the debate from the day it was completed; is this the cradle of postmodernism, a one-off sculptural aberration or a sacred monument that must never change no matter what? Construction plans, modern images and a detailed focus on the chapel’s extraordinary artistry fill up Crippa and Caussé’s book.
Published by Royal Academy Publications, £48Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Ciaran Coulstock
From the book: detail of the south side of the chapel with the foundation stone beside the main entrance. Courtesy FLC and Association de Notre Dame du Haut, by SIAE 2015, copyright BAMSphoto – Rodella
The interior of the chapel looking towards the sanctuary. Courtesy FLC and Association de Notre Dame du Haut, by SIAE 2015, copyright BAMSphoto – Rodella
The contrast of the south wall sloping outwards and the reinforced concrete roof bulging inwards towards the west wall. The line of light between the wall and the roof can be clearly seen. Courtesy FLC and Association de Notre Dame du Haut, by SIAE 2015, copyright BAMSphoto – Rodella
England’s Post-War Listed Buildings
By Elain Harwood and James O Davies
The architectural gazetteer is the ultimate coffee table guide book, a way of traversing centuries of history without ever leaving your chair. This admirable assemblage of post-war gems in Britain’s building stock signals the huge shift in perception of contemporary architecture, featuring over 500 buildings picked for preservation due to their architectural and historical merit. The perfect companion to a brace of Pevsner guides.
Published by Batsford, £40Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Ciaran Coulstock
From the book: ’Severels’, in Runcton, West Sussex, built by Walter Greaves between 1980–81. This Grade II* listed building is made up of a series of amorphous modules with round corners, crafted from timber and mellow cedar
’Neck Building’, Bournemouth, is a Grade II listed structure at the ’neck’ of Boscombe Pier. The structure was built between 1888–89 to promote the revival of the British seaside
St Paul’s Church is located on Lorrimore Square in Kennington. The building replaced a church built in 1854 and damaged in the war. The design resuses some of the original surviving materials, while introducing precast timber for the roofing
The ’Cheltenham Estate’ – on Godbourne Road, Kensington – houses the Grade II* and Grade II listed (respectively) Trellick Tower (pictured) and Edenham Way. The former tower is the inimitable landmark amongst a low-rise estate of flats and houses, and approaches the aims of Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation to fulfil all of a neighbourhood’s needs in one building
30:30 Landscape Architecture
By Meaghan Kombol
Once considered a poor relation to architecture and interiors, the past few years have seen a revival in landscape design, buoyed by the increasingly important relationship – both economic and spatial – between new developments and the public realm. Phaidon’s 30:30 Landscape Architecture surveys the modern state of the discipline using the publisher’s established self-curatorial approach – thirty cutting edge practitioners get to showcase their own work as well as that of a younger firm that’s on the up. Featuring studios from right around the world, 30:30 highlights the many ways in which design can be made to impact upon nature.
Published by Phaidon, £45Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Ciaran Coulstock
From the book: Tongva Park, Santa Monica, CA, 2013, by James Corner Field Operations. This area – formerly a parking lot – was transformed into a celebrated community park. Photography: Iwan Baan
Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, Singapore, 2012, by Rambøll /Atelier Dreiseitl . This area was initially a concrete drainage channel, restored into a natural river running through the park. Courtesy: Atelier Dreiseitl
Quarry Garden in Shanghai Botanical Garden, Shanghai, 2010, by Zhuyufan Y3C Studio, School of Architecture, THU, Beijing. This transformation saw an abandoned quarry yard turned into an iconic tourist attraction through ecological and cultural strategies. Photography: Chen Yao
The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of the Year 2014
By Federal Office of Culture
An annual favourite amongst the design crowd, this round-up collects up the creative output of the Swiss publishing industry and garlands the very best with in-depth features and analysis. Seventeen books were given the nod by a jury of five, itself selected each year by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture. The publication is a feast for the eyes, dissecting the shortlisted designs in a manner both creative and intriguing.
Published by the Federal Office of CultureWriter: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Ciaran Coulstock
From the book: Susie by Ashley Bickerton, designed by Teo Schifferli, Zurich, shows an early group of works by the New York artist, who belonged to the Neo-Geo group associated with Jeff Koons. The publication begins with a long series of full-bleeds, high-contrast black-and-white photos combined with occasional large-type quotations from the artist. Photography: Walter Pfeiffer
Your Land/My Land – Election’ 12 by Jonathan Horowitz, designed by Laurenz Brunner, Berlin/Zurich. This book features an interactive installation that Horowitz exhibited in several cities during the 2012 US presidential election campaign. The museum rooms were divided by blue and red carpet – the colours of the Democratic and Republican parties. Photography: Andrea Grambow And Joscha Kirchknopf
The Rendering Eye: Urban America Revisited, designed by Marietta Eugster, Zurich. Using the app ’Apple Maps’, readers are invited to view cities using screenshots from the software to ’fly over’ them. Photography: Kenta Cobayashi
The Future of the Skyscaper
By SOM Thinkers
SOM has a long history of tackling tall buildings; the firm was founded in 1930s America and rose to prominence with its sleek take on the classic glass-walled office tower. Today, SOM is one of the world’s pre-eminent architectural practices, a pillar of the design establishment. SOM Thinkers is a new publishing venture, exploring – without censure or self-interest – some of the key issues of the day. This first volume looks up, engaging such figures as Bruce Sterling, Will Self and Tom Vanderbilt to muse about their favourite (or otherwise) aspect of high-rise living. There are also essays on the near future forms of the skyscraper, a building type we’re unlikely to ever entirely eschew.
Published by Metropolis Books, $17.95Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Ciaran Coulstock
From the book: Yuri Avvakumov’s House of Cards. The Russian architect began practice with Paper Architecture in 1980s as a playful reference to the last years of the Soviet state – itself a fragile ’house of cards’. Courtesy: Yuri Avvakumov
Avvakumov was fascinated by towers – he most recently created a mini city of several tall pavilions made of cargo storage racks for an exhibition. Pictured: Cataoultower, 1982. Courtesy: Yuri Avvakumov
Edited by Michael Maharam and Bailey Salisbury
The Maharam textile story started out in the American theatre world before evolving into one of the US’s leading commercial suppliers in the boom years after the war. The company has stayed engaged with the modern design conversation through its ‘Stories’ series, a collection of cultural explorations by many leading writers, thinkers and makers, including Alice Rawsthorn, John Pawson and Murray Moss. Each delves into a quirky but inspirational story about how design shaped their life and ultimately the world around them.
Published by Skira/Rizzoli, $29.95Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Ciaran Coulstock
From the book: a letter by Hans Ulrich Obrist, declaring his admiration for the work of poet and visual artist Etel Adnan. Pictured left: Untitled (204), 2013. Right: Untitled (200), 2013
Kalman Maira’s four visual stories include a funnel that cost her €1.95 and a boiled chicken that she ate in Florence. Maira says the serving of chicken was ’sparse and spare as a short story’
Magnum Photos with Reda: 150
A brand book that celebrates the world of wool, Reda: 150 invests the reader in the long-standing history of the celebrated Italian company, founded 150 years ago with the intention of bringing the latest techniques to a millennia-old tradition. It helps that Reda has engaged a roster of Magnum photographers to capture the people and processes behind its products, including Alex Majoli, Mark Power, Paolo Pellegrin and Olivia Arthur. The result is a stunning collection of photographic essays, sumptuously produced by Italian art publishers Damiani.
Published by Damiani, $50Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Ciaran Coulstock
From the book: curator Angelo Flaccavento says ’Innovation, dedication and passion is what 150 stands for.’ Pictured: the intricate details of threading almost form a webbed pattern. Photography: Olivia Arthur
More pattern-work in the machinery used at the material factory, captured by British photographer Mark Power. Photography: Mark Power
Wedged between the pages of the book are removeable poems printed on translucent paper, sharing a narrative to support the images. Photography: Mark Power
By Axel Hoedt
Folk culture often tips over into the uncanny. This correlation between the traditional and the sinister is very much in evidence in Axel Hoedt’s new monograph from Steidl. Fast Nacht (which translates as ‘dusk’ in English) is a series of portraits of costumes and characters from Alpine Europe’s carnival culture. Focusing on Fastnacht, a festival that begins in early January and runs up to Lent, Hoedt has captured a carnival of grotesques, looming mysteriously in the gloom of their snowy surroundings. These celebrations date back centuries, and costumes depict jesters and dark spirits with masks and elaborate clothing. Mysterious yet also hugely alluring, there’s real historical power in these anonymous images.
Published by Steidl, €28Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Ciaran Coulstock
From the book: the vibrant colours in this headdress stand out against the grey surroundings, while the wearer’s head is ominously lost amongst the arrangement
Here, the eerie snowy setting is captured through pink film, the shot directed through to an abandoned house
Almost appearing as a military outfit, this costume – complete with medieval-looking weapony and clown makeup – sits between being ludicrous and terrifying
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