Onto the shelves of our Wallpaper* library this season climbs a wealth of immersive design reads, on topics as disparate as the influence of modern Brazilian furniture to museology and cars. Elsewhere, we delve into the impressive CVs of two British architectural practices, and the many iconic buildings therein. Sit back and relax with this worldly edit of unmissable reads...Writer: Sujata Burman. Photography: Michael Ainscough
Brazil Modern: The Rediscovery of Twentieth-Century Brazilian Furniture
By Aric Chen
We’ll assume you already have a passing familiarity with Brazil’s remarkable century of design, thanks to Wallpaper’s countless features on the work of Niemeyer, Lina Bo Bardi, Lucio Costa, Sergio Rodriguez and so on. This book focuses not on the sinuous concrete work but on the furnishings that went inside them, creating total works of art that reflected the culture, climate and crafts of the country, with an expressive modernist twist. Companies like Unilabor were established to mass produce designs, while the forms themselves ran the gamut from deco-esque through to proto-brutalist, with solid, rough-hewn surfaces. What shines through are the expressive qualities of these works, taking modernism’s formal restraint and re-casting it as playful and seductive.
Published by The Monacelli Press, $60Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Michael Ainscough
From the book: renowned architect Sérgio Rodrigues started experimenting with furniture design in the 1950s and brought a humanist feel to modernism. Pictured: ’Tonico’ armchair, 1963
Pictured left: three-legged chair by Joaquim Tenreiro, in four different types of Brazilian hardwood, with bonded laminated frame and solid turned joints and lets. Right: custom made dining table by Sérgio Rodrigues made in solid pine with brass detailing, and chairs in solid pine and cane
The multifacted styles of Italian born Lina Bo Bardi are shown here in chairs made from the 1950s to 1980s
Mimesis: Lynch Architects
By Patrick Lynch, Peter Carl, Laura Evans, Alexandra Stara and Claudia Lynch
Patrick and Claudia Lynch continue the British architectural tradition of a literary approach. From their earliest work – epitomised by Marsh View, a small country cottage in Norfolk – their work has eschewed minimal tendencies in favour of quotidian materials, the value of simplicity and a deep regard for history, both architectural and social. In recent years, Lynch Architects has entered the big league, swapping small houses like Marsh View and the wooden house in Greenwood Road for a grand suite of buildings in London’s Victoria. Transcending dull commercial typology, the Victoria buildings are the culmination of many years’ writing and designing around the demands of cities and the need for a new civic character that infuses architecture, from grand façades right down to the doorknobs.
Published by Artifice Books, £34.95Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Michael Ainscough
From the book: Marsh View in Norfolk is a holiday home that contains unexpected angles and surprising spatial articulations. Photography: David Grandroge
The combined house and garden of Marsh View offers a repositary for art, a symbolic representation of the cosmos and a setting for the transformation of the mundane into the festive. Photography: David Grandroge
Of the firm’s bigger projects, Nova Place on Victoria Street has an intriguing skeletal form made up of solid Jura cruciform columns and beams to protect it from excessive southerly sunlight
Foreword by Willem Jan
The archetypal coffee table book, Museums offers the casual browser page after page of images of those most expressive of architectural typologies; the modern museum. Architecture’s relationship with museology has evolved dramatically over the last two decades, as signature structures transformed the fortunes of whole cities, causing a ripple effect as cultural structures became the new currency in global rankings. Museums also includes historical structures and functions best as an aide memoire, helping steer you towards more in-depth explorations of both architecture and collections.
Published by Roads Publishing, £40Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Michael Ainscough
From the book: the Hedmark Museum by architect Sverre Fehn in Hamar, Norway is made up of four temporal layers: the 13th-century ruins of the Bishops’ fortress, the present-day concrete exhibition ramp, the barn-like enclosure and the exhibition on rural life
The Jewish Museum by Daniel Libeskind in Berlin resembles a jagged bolt of lightning when seen from the air
The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela was built in 1998, channelling traditions in futurism with its dome-like structure that protrudes from the ground
By Gregory Votolato
The automobile offers endless opportunity for musing on social impact, the visual language of desire and the power and scope of marketing. Gregory Votolato’s new book has a design historical slant and professes to be apolitical when it comes to whether the car is ultimately a positive or negative force. Instead, it’s the inherent paradoxes, social shifts and cultural impact of the automobile that concern him, from the romance of the road trip, the lure of the wilderness and the creativity of the custom car, to the longevity of African taxi cabs (Peugeot’s venerable 504, a Pininfarina classic from the 1970s, is still going on the streets of Lagos, for example). Essential reading for anyone wondering just where our love/hate relationship with the car will take us, although all the signs point to its ongoing role in display and social status trumping its negative image for decades to come.
Published by Reaktion Books, £20Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Michael Ainscough
From the book: a collector’s 1951 Ford, restyled as the X51 that was worked on by Ron Courtney in an Oregon body shop, using chopping, channelling, sectioning and shaving
This 1955 Buick was described by Industrial Design critic Deborah Allen as ’having no more weight than the designer chooses to give it’ and ’floating on currents of air’
Pictured left: featured in the ’Road’ section, this image reveals the ritual of filling that has become a part of everyday life across the world. Right: Henri Peugeot’s Seyan concepts that show the development of his future cars
Michaelis Boyd: Thinking like an Architect
By Alex Michaelis and Tim Boyd
Michaelis Boyd represent a very different, but equally valid, facet of contemporary British architecture. Since the practice’s founding in 1995, it has focused on residential design, often dovetailing contemporary interventions into grand historic buildings, as well as creating standalone modern houses. The resulting aesthetic is truly influential, and signature projects have included Babington House, among other sites for the Soho House Group, and the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill, together with the identity for Byron Restaurants. Michaelis Boyd’s UK work defines new media stealth wealth, yet there’s also a more expressive side, deftly illustrated by their African safari lodges.
Published by Clearview Books, £30Writer: Jonathan Bell. Photography: Michael Ainscough
From the book: with the Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, the firm aimed to preseve a farmhouse feel with distressed furniture and cobbled flooring
The Sandibe Safari Lodge on Botswana’s Okavango Delta (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) was designed with dramatic features for a luxury experience, here with the curved trusses of the shingle roofs building into the landscape
From the firm’s residential projects, this property on Chiswick Lane in West London is made up of creamy concrete walkways that connect the living and sleeping areas
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