Edited by Stanley Abercrombie -- Interior Design, 4/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Hariri & Hariri Houses
by Gisue and Mojgan Hariri
New York: Rizzoli International Publications, $50
208 pages, 150 illustrations
When we welcomed the Hariri sisters to this magazine's Hall of Fame last November, they were hailed as "two of the most accomplished women in American design." Richard Meier, in his foreword to their second monograph, says that "their work successfully manages the balance between sculpture as pure form and inhabited space." Paul Goldberger's introduction argues that their architecture "represents modernism at its most optimistic, and at its most realistic."
Here are 15 houses and apartments, including the first completed design for the Houses at Sagaponac development on Long Island, New York. Each project has a distinct personality, and all receive exemplary coverage: sensible text, computer-generated floor plans, and full-page color images by some of our best photographers, such as Paul Warchol, Jeff Goldberg, Luca Vignelli, and Steven Brooke. Claudia Brandenburg of Language Arts designed the appropriately handsome cover.
by Norman Foster
New York: Prestel, $70
192 pages, 145 duotone illustrations
We're all accustomed to big glossy monographs on noted architects and designers. Several such volumes are devoted to Pritzker Prize winner Sir Norman Foster, but this one is both less and more. "Less" because it gives very little information about the work shown, other than the visual evidence, and makes no attempt to convey a comprehensive understanding of any specific building—whether that's the new German parliament in Berlin, the Hong Kong International Airport, or private houses in the U.K., France, Germany, and Japan. "More" because of Nigel Young's stunning full-page black-and-white images, dramatically grouped by themes such as light, movement, and order. Sunscreens, skylights, stairs, and other details play the most important roles, just like they do in reality. Almost without saying a word, this is a profound and poetic book—the essence of a masterfully developed architectural vocabulary.
The Furniture of Carlo Mollino
by Fulvio and Napoleone Ferrari
New York: Phaidon Press, $75
240 pages, 500 illustrations
Like Antoni Gaudí, with his sensuous art nouveau, Carlo Mollino was one of those architectural figures who pursued a highly individual vision. Both the Spaniard and the Italian rejected modernism's reductionist, right-angled dictates for a more voluptuous expression. In Mollino's case, the results crossed several industries and took many forms: automobiles, fashion, photography, and, chiefly, interior design and furniture—all structurally sophisticated, anatomical, surreal, and seductive. Besides furniture, this comprehensive, long overdue appreciation features lighting, silverware for Reed & Barton, a forest-themed ballroom in Turin, Italy, and his own apartment there. The book's cover shows a leggy 1949 oak table that sold last year for almost $4 million at Christie's, setting an auction record for modern furniture.
The father-son authors, Fulvio and Napoleone Ferrari, are respectively the founder and the curator of the Museo Casa Mollino in Turin. Who better to know how much Mollino deserves serious scholarly attention?
What They're Reading...
Principal of D—ash Designs
Visionaire, issue 48
New York: Visionaire Publishing, distributed by DAP, $175
25 cards, 25 3-D color images
Ashen subscribes to Visionaire, the rarefied journal of fashion and art, because each limited-edition issue is, he says, a "journey." The latest, "Magic," is more jewel box than magazine. Don't look for stories, just full-bleed photographs and graphics by the likes of Sofia Coppola, Karl Lagerfeld, and John Maeda—all packaged in a lovely Van Cleef & Arpels box. "It's so experiential," he says. "The pictures are hypnotic. Every time I study them, I see something that's new." —Kelly Beamon