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Matthew Powell | October 15, 2013
As every design (and book) junkie knows, with fall comes a fresh batch of design publications. We’ve collected some of our favorite upcoming titles for you to peruse, perfect for those chilly days when all you want to do is curl up with a book and seek inspiration.
|1. In the City
by Nigel Peake
New York: Princeton Architectural Press
Urban landscapes, at times frenetic and other times serene, are compiled in this latest book by illustrator Nigel Peake. Traveling to the world’s great metropolises such as Shanghai, New York, Antwerp, London, Paris, and Oslo, the artist documented the complex geometries in his signature ink and watercolor medium. The book is divided into five chapters: Surface, Place, Fragment, Path (Margin), and Change. While some drawings are literal and easily recognizable (such as a New York water tower), many depict abstract amalgamations or sketches. Together, an imagined collective is built before our eyes.
||2. Old Buildings New Forms: New Directions in Architectural Transformation
by Françoise Astorg Bollack
New York: Monacelli Press
“Like most architecture students, I was taught that new was better, somehow more courageous, more moral,” reflects architect Françoise Astorg Bollack in her new book. But the buildings presented in her compilation incorporate old structures. From Alsop Architects’ Sharp Center for Design in Toronto, a pixilated metal box-like canopy dominating the entrance, to Ibos & Vitart Architects’ expansion of Le Museé des Beaux-Arts in Lille, each of the 29 projects displays modern interventions on historic buildings. Copious text and floor plans accompany beautiful photography.
||3. Private Gardens of the Hudson Valley
by Jane Garmey
photography by John M. Hall
New York: Monacelli Press
Thumbing through this book, one almost forgets that the subject is Hudson Valley. The majority of the photographs are taken in the full-bloom of spring or as summer produce is on the vine, creating a perfect Eden free of the upstate winter months. Hall’s work walks through each garden so intimately that one can almost feel the warmth of the sunlight or the grass underfoot. Garmey’s prose introduces us to 26 landscapes, but she limits herself to only a few paragraphs. The stunning images hardly need qualification.
||4. Carlo Scarpa
by Robert McCarter
New York: Phaidon Press
Scarpa, the 20th-century modern architect heralded by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn, passed away over 30 years ago, but this fall he is experiencing a bit of a resurgence. In November, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will host “Venetian Glass by Carlo Scarpa: The Venini Company, 1932-1947,” dedicated to the architect’s early work as a glassmaker. Unrelated, though certainly coincidental, the first monograph of his work is set for release a month before the opening. Featuring 15 detailed walk-throughs as well as a complete list of works, it sheds light on a truly multi-faceted designer.
|5. The Library: A World History
by James W. P. Campbell
Chicago: University of Chicago Press
In the book’s preface, Campbell posits that due to public spending cuts and the rise of electronic publishing the library as a building form may be under threat. However, reading this thorough history of these buildings and looking at the stunning photographs by Will Pryce, one should hope not. Take the rococo Admont Abbey Library in Austria (1776), where the books were rebound in white to match the decorative scheme. Or the Liyuan Library (2012), clad in rustic twigs and almost blending into the natural surroundings. With 82 libraries spanning 21 countries, the book is ordered chronologically, starting in early Mesopotamia.