Postmodern architecture was characterized by four dominant beliefs: that architecture was distinct from the materiality of things; that history had an operative role to play in the present; that the emergence of a culture dominated by images enabled architects to equate drawing with authorship; and that architecture could secure its status among the arts by staking a claim to the exhibition space. While each strand of this belief system had deep historical roots, the expanding reach of American corporations played a crucial role in transforming these ideas into what was then termed the first global style. Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Myths features a series of fragments salvaged from canonic buildings of the late twentieth century together with archival materials from the CCA and other museum collections. The book is published in conjunction with the exhibition organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, and presented at the CCA from November 2018 to April 2019.
Reading Room catalogue
This book is like an architect’s open notebook, the pages of which provide a record of the past fourteen years of Palekas Architects’ Studio (PAS): ideas realised, opportunities unfulfilled, and never-ending learning.
This is the second PAS publication, containing project visions, essays by Rolandas Palekas on the contemporary city and the architect, and conversations between former PAS collaborators and the studio’s current partners, allowing the reader to catch a glimpse behind the scenes of this studio which has become a school for many. Or, as Matas Šiupšinskas, a former PAS collaborator, writes in his foreword to this book: the forge of damned idealists.
Architects Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto have been generating some of the most provocative thinking in the field for nearly twenty years. With Atlas of Novel Tectonics, Reiser+Umemoto hone in on the many facets of architecture and illuminate their theories with great thought and simplicity. The Atlas is organized as an accumulation of short chapters that address the workings of matter and force, material science, the lessons of art and architectural history, and the influence of architecture on culture (and vice versa). Reiser+Umemoto see architectural design as a series of problem situations, and each chapter is an argument devoted to a specific condition or case. Influenced by a wide range of fields and phenomena – Brillat-Savarin’s classic The Physiology of Taste is one of their primary models – the authors provide a cross-section of thinking and inspiration. The result is both an elucidation of the concepts that guide Reiser+Umemoto through their own design process and a series of meditations on topics that have formed their own sense as architects. Atlas of Novel Tectonics offers an entirely fresh perspective on subjects that are generally taken for granted, and does so with a welcome punch and energy.
In 1989, the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) developed a daring architectural typology—a “project without form”. The setting is a laboratory headed by Rem Koolhaas, in which actors from different disciplines work on three competition challenges at the same time. In the process, the mechanisms of project development and knowledge acquisition merge into increasingly abstract systems and representations. The “project without form” is not built in any of the three cases. The book not only follows the progress of the laboratory in 1989 but also reflects on its prehistory and aftermath, drawing on interviews with various actors at OMA conducted by Holger Schurk. The publication focuses on the hybrid processes of production and representation in the OMA project Très Grande Bibliothèque (TGB) in Paris: these are visualized by means of numerous hitherto unpublished sketches, drawings, and photographs as well as sequences of video stills.