Category: reviews

Notations (2016): Review & Excerpt

Notations (2016): Review & Excerpt

By Richard Hall

Notations is a collection of pamphlets in a box. Curating the content in this manner has allowed the editors to present the publication as a physical representation of their thesis that the notebook is a device for the cultivation of individual worlds. The plurality is important. The pamphlets are collected… Read More

Piranesi Unbound (2020): Review

Piranesi Unbound (2020): Review

By Nicholas Savage

There is much to admire in this sequel to Heather Hyde Minor’s Piranesi’s Lost Words (Penn State, 2015), which sets out to ‘explore new territory by reimagining his artistic production in terms of his books’. Whereas Lost Words drew attention to Piranesi as an author who combined texts and images… Read More

Besides, History (2018): Book Review

Besides, History (2018): Book Review

By Stan Allen

It has a lot to do with misinterpretation. There is no real truth in history. Everything you see belongs to the past and you interpret it in your own way. Its related to visiting buildings, but also to an abstraction in how you re-represent architecture, appropriating it in your own… Read More

Luc Deleu & T.O.P. OFFICE: Future Plans, 1970–2020 (2021) – Review

Luc Deleu & T.O.P. OFFICE: Future Plans, 1970–2020 (2021) – Review

By Victoria Easton

Future Plans is one of those titles with double and ambiguous meanings. Not exactly as twofold as the most famous ‘The Architecture of the City’ but maybe leaving us equally free to choose. Is the term ‘future’ to be considered as an adjective or a subject? Does this book thus… Read More

Jesús Vassallo’s Epics in the Everyday (2019): Review & Excerpt

Jesús Vassallo’s Epics in the Everyday (2019): Review & Excerpt

By Helen Thomas

Review The compelling question of reality, or rather its representation as realism presented as an aesthetic category, acts as the organising principle of this interesting book. This is an investigation of the relationship between photography, architecture and the problem of realism, as its subtitle explains. Its author, Jesús Vassallo, immediately… Read More

68½ degrees, Sverre Fehn and the Nordic Pavilion: Review & Excerpt

68½ degrees, Sverre Fehn and the Nordic Pavilion: Review & Excerpt

By Niall Hobhouse

Review By preserving the trees on the site within his pavilion in the Giardini, Sverre Fehn offered Venice an insight into a unique Nordic sensitivity towards nature and the environment. He tempered the harsh Mediterranean sun to evoke the horizontal light of the Baltic through a spectacularly innovative technical design… Read More

The Zilsel Thesis: A Review of Strata: William Smith’s Geological Maps (2020): Review

The Zilsel Thesis: A Review of Strata: William Smith’s Geological Maps (2020): Review

By Stan Allen

In a series of essays and lectures developed between 1939 and 1943, the philosopher of science Edgar Zilsel identified three distinct sources of knowledge in the Renaissance. In the late-medieval period, writes Zilsel, the traditional learning associated with the universities was still theological and scholastic in character. The texts preserved… Read More

Sébastien Marot’s Taking The Country’s Side (2019): Review & Excerpt

Sébastien Marot’s Taking The Country’s Side (2019): Review & Excerpt

By Adam Caruso

Review On the occasion of the publication of this book, and the associated exhibition, which was a part of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale of 2019, Sébastien Marot gave a talk that positioned his work about the Country’s Side in relation to Rem Koolhaas’s almost contemporaneous Guggenheim exhibition, Countryside. Marot was… Read More

Flores & Prats Sala Beckett International Drama Centre (2020): REVIEW & EXCERPTS

Flores & Prats Sala Beckett International Drama Centre (2020): REVIEW & EXCERPTS

By Helen Thomas

Review Making a book about making a building creates a special narrative challenge in the constant battle between reality and myth that vibrates through non-fiction publications and the ways in which we as readers engage with and interpret them. This is complicated even more when making a book about a… Read More

Stan Allen’s Situated Objects (2020): Review & Excerpt

Stan Allen’s Situated Objects (2020): Review & Excerpt

By Niall Hobhouse

Review Three times a week a package arrives in Somerset with another Practice Monograph, and the generous proposal that we might want to add it to the library at Drawing Matter. This is clearly an old story – somewhere we have a copy of one of John Soane’s endless books… Read More

Singing Songs of Piccadilly: Review

Singing Songs of Piccadilly: Review

By Editors

Niall Hobhouse writes about The Buildings of Green Park by Andrew Jones. To purchase the book, click here. Green Park, a pair of anecdotes: 1. Queen Caroline – ‘What would it cost, Sir Robert, to close the Park to the public?’ Walpole – ‘May it please your Majesty, but Three Crowns –… Read More