03/01/2007
          Art/Invention/House Michael Webb
          Review by Mario Cipresso

        • From the Publisher:

          Art/Invention/House is an authoritative presentation of forty new and recent houses that represent the creativity of some of the world's most gifted architects. Author Michael Webb has chosen projects on five continents to demonstrate the inexhaustible potential of a building type that architects use to test new ideas while striving to give clients something more than they dreamed of. The houses shown here are understated or audacious but never conventional. They offer sweeping views and constant surprises, soaring spaces and intimates nooks, silky wood and raw steel. Some have only trees for neighbors; others are shoehorned into tight urban sites, perch on precipitous slopes, or cling like limpets to the coastline. All are respectful of their surroundings and the need to conserve energy. But every house is one of a kind, the product of a dialogue between demanding clients and creative designers. Featured here in spectacular full-color photography, as well as generous plans and sketches, are projects by an international array of firms. Large or small, simple or complex, frugal or costly, each of these houses is artistic and inventive in its own unique way.

          Additional Comments:

          This handsomely composed book takes an intimate look at the recent residential work of forty architects. Although a bit light on project-related data, the author has defined each house through a series of beautiful photographs complemented with hand-drawn sketches and presentation quality plans and sections. The text provides insight into the architect’s background, ideas and process as well as obstacles encountered and overcome.

          Michael Webb groups the projects into six specific categories that can be somewhat constrictive but useful. Steven Holl’s Nail Contractor’s House is presented in ‘Poetic Gestures’ while Rick Joy’s Desert Nomad House appears in ‘Engaging Nature’. Other categories are Purist Spaces, Interlocking Volumes, Expressive Forms and Introspective Pleasures. Featured in this book are the works of Will Bruder, TEN Arquitectos, Kengo Kuma, Alvaro Siza, Glenn Murcutt and Lorcan O’Herlihy to name but a few.

      Discuss
        03.10.07 Michael Webb should write a book on how to write a book over and over and never know it is not important. / Hall
        03.11.07 yeah! / bill
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