Architecture books: gift ideas for architects

GRAFT, Julian Franke,


At a time in history when we’re not moving around much, books are a great way of at least temporarily fulfilling our desire to explore the world in person. Architecture books are a lovely gift idea and can give us valuable insights into the work of others; some of them include IDENTITY by the GRAFT studio, the reflections of Julian Franke and Best Architects 21, the publication of the homonymous award.

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Architecture books: gift ideas for architects As the festive season nears, the search for the perfect gift becomes more urgent. So, as is our custom, we’ve taken a look at some architecture books that are always a welcome present. 
Let’s start with the monograph by the architecture firm, GRAFT. Graft was established in 1998 in Los Angeles, California by Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit. They opened additional offices in Berlin, Germany in 2001 and Beijing, China in 2004, crossing the boundaries between disciplines to experiment with an expanded, amorphous formal vocabulary and explore new ways of configuring volume and space. The monograph entitled “IDENTITY. New Commercial, Cultural and Mobility Architecture”, published by Birkhäuser, presents an exhaustive account of buildings and designs by GRAFT in the fields of culture, work environments, brand architecture, retail, and mobility. One of the things that make this book a real gem, in addition to the bold graphics, are the forty-odd generously illustrated projects, the dialectic essays focusing on urban identity and architecture, the influence of digitization on the building industry and new forms of mobility. The book includes a foreword by Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, co-founder of Snøhetta, and contributions by the Frankfurt DAM director Peter Cachola Schmal, and Rem Koolhaas. 
The book by young architect and philosopher Julian Franke, called “Erfahrungswelten. Wahrnehmung und Imagination der Architektur” (Worlds of experience. Perception and Imagination of Architecture) in the “ArchitekurDenken” (ArchitectureThinking) series for the German publisher, Transcript develops around a stroll along the famous Unter den Linden street in downtown Berlin. In his book, which he also chatted to us about in our podcast (https://www.floornature.com/allgoodvibes/episode-16-julian-franke-perception-and-imagination-architec-15942/) Franke points out that the experience of architecture consists of a variety of imaginary worlds. The description of these worlds also involves overcoming the divisions between the traditional fields of semiotics, phenomenology and anthropology. Architecture thus becomes a laboratory of perception and theory and the book a catalyst to get us away from our workstations to really explore the city and to realize that the observer must be seen as the creator of their world.
Instead, the volume “two thousand twenty one” documents the 91 winning projects of the “best architects 21 award”. The award—and consequently, the book—demonstrates once again how lively the architecture scene is. Architects are responding to new challenges with lots of creativity and courage, and further, surprising solutions are emerging. Apart from the formal approaches, the attention usually concentrates on a bold concept that does justice to the permanence of architecture and to how its purpose often changes over time. The book is divided into theme areas (housing is broken down into single-family and multi-family homes, office and administrative buildings, retail and industrial buildings, facilities for education, public buildings, buildings for infrastructures and for interior design). This clear structure makes it a perfect compendium of contemporary European architecture.

Christiane Bürklein

GRAFT: IDENTITY. New Commercial, Cultural and Mobility Architecture, Birkhäuser
Julian Franke: Erfahrungswelten. Wahrnehmung und Imagination der Architektur, ArchitekturDenken, Transcript Verlag
best architects 21 award: two thousand twenty one


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