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Book Briefs #40

"Book Briefs" are an ongoing series of posts with short first-hand descriptions of some of the numerous books that make their way into my library. These briefs are not full-blown reviews (though some might go on to get that treatment), but they are a way to share more books worthy of attention than find their way into reviews on this blog. This installment features four titles — two from Laurence King and two from Thames & Hudson – that are oriented to design and materials in education and practice.

The Architecture Concept Book by James Tait | Thames & Hudson | 2018 | Amazon / IndieBound

Triple Dutch

The lack of posts between my roundup of Holiday Gift Books on Thanksgiving and now was due to a trip to Amsterdam to cover the World Architecture Festival for World-Architects. Thankfully I was able to do some sightseeing on what was my first trip to the Netherlands, zipping around Amsterdam and taking day trips to Delft and Rotterdam. Below are photos of some highlights in these three Dutch cities, presented in the order I visited them.


The bathtub-like addition to the Stedelijk Museum (2012) by Benthem Crouwel Architects:

Superlofts Houthaven (2016) by Marc Koehler Architects, which won at WAF in 2017 and was open for tours this year:

2018 Holiday Gift Books

For this year's roundup of Holiday Gift Books I'm highlighting 36 books by the same number of publishers, arranged alphabetically by publisher – from Actar to Yale. Titles link to IndieBound and covers link to Amazon for easy gift-buying.

Álvaro Siza Viera: A Pool in the Sea
By Kenneth Frampton, Vincent Mentzel

A slim, 92-page book that sees Siza, with Kenneth Frampton, revisiting the great pool he designed more than 50 years ago in Leça de Palmeira, Portugal.

ar+d (Applied Research + Design)
Towards Openness
By Li Hu, Huang Wenjing

Book Review: A Feeling of History

A Feeling of History by Peter Zumthor, Mari Lending
Scheidegger & Spiess, 2018
Paperback, 80 pages

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor finishes buildings so sporadically that the presence of each in various strands of architectural communication lasts years rather than days or weeks. It was five years, for instance, between two recently completed works: the Steilneset Memorial (2011) and the Allmannajuvet Zinc Mining Museum (2016), both in Norway. When I saw Zumthor speak with Paul Goldberger at the Guggenheim in February 2017, these were the two projects Zumthor focused on. In general, discussions around these and other Zumthor projects unfold over time, unlike projects by prolific firms such as BIG or Kengo Kuma Associates, where lots of attention follows an opening, only to give way quickly to the next project's completion. In turn, Zumthor's slowness invites interviews — but ones that play out over time rather than ones that take place in one evening like the Guggenheim.