It’s a nearly impossible task to distill Norman Foster’s six-decade career into a few hundred pages. It’s easy to understand, then, why this monograph of the U.K. architect’s work comprises two XXL volumes. Enclosed in a custom slipcase that cleverly folds into a stand, the book reflects Foster’s skill at marrying art with structure. Alongside a short biography, the first volume showcases his oeuvre of more than 70 projects, from early collaborations with Buckminster Fuller to the iconic Millennium Bridge and 30 St. Mary Axe, as well as such works in progress as the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts. The second volume contains eight illustrated essays, written by Foster, that explore his many sources of inspiration; “Roots” follows his non-linear path
to an architecture career, while “Flight” examines his fascination with aviation.
“The strategic stitching together of old and new combines two of architecture’s great virtues,” writes architect Deborah Berke in the opening essay of her new book. She follows up by proposing a rethink of historic preservation, advocating for a shift away from mimicry and restoration and toward the creative re-use of “background buildings.” The subsequent case studies are shining examples of her firm TenBerke’s own sensitive yet innovative renovations, which include NXTHVN, a series of New Haven factories that have been transformed into an arts incubator and community space.
This manifesto explores the approach of Ghanaian British architect David Adjaye across five material-focused sections: stone and concrete, wood, metal, glass, and rammed earth. In each one, striking detail shots zoom in on textural projects like New York’s Sugar Hill mixed-use development and Accra’s Dot.Ateliers Gallery. Meanwhile, the warm, Wibalin-textured cover is accented by debossed metallic silver details — further illustrating the ethos that materials are embedded with meaning.
Monographs from three big-name architects that are far more than just vanity exercises.