The Function of Ornament Farshid Moussavi & Michael Kubo
          Review by Mario Cipresso

        • In this graphic guide to building ornamentation in the twentieth century, Moussavi and Kubo have collected an interesting cross-section of architectural projects that demonstrate the mechanisms through which contemporary architecture connects itself to current culture.

          Through the selected case study projects, the editors endeavor to illustrate the means through which ornamentation is the very essence of the building. Not being merely 'ornamental' and self-indulgent, the articulation presented is indeed the agent of the architect's ideas.

          Various materials and effects are investigated ranging from 'dematerialized light' to 'relief patterns'. The impressive array of diagrams are extremely clear and useful. A typical system is defined through perspective views, sections, pattern diagrams, detailed assembly drawings and relevant notes.

          If you are looking for component and systems analysis of projects such as Future Systems' amorphous Selfridges Department Store or Herzog and de Meuron's embossed copper skin at the De Young Museum; look no further.


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