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The 10 best books on architecture that are always worth coming back to. NArchitekTURA recommends

22 of May '20
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10th "Valerio Olgiati".

Authors: Valerio Olgiati, Laurent Stadler, Bruno Reichlin, Mario Carpo
Publisher: Quart
Lucerne 2008

Valerio Olgiati,
Laurent Stadler, Bruno Reichlin, Mario Carpo „Valerio Olgiati”


The first monograph of the Swiss architect - Valerio Olgiati is a rather peculiar item on the publishing market. It is rather a "book-like" minimalist object composed of 188 layers of thick cardboard printed on both sides. It's as if this publication was composed solely of glued covers with different contents. Or each page had unprecedented thickness and weight.

It is not only the form of this book that surprises - its composition is also non-standard. Author's descriptions and critical texts by Laurent Stadler, Bruno Reichlin and Mario Carpo occupy the lower part of each page, while above them are illustrations, architectural drawings and photographs of buildings designed by Olgiati. There would be nothing surprising about this, were it not for the fact that there is no logical or obvious connection between the bottom and top of each page - both can be seen as an autonomous whole. At least at first glance. Upon close reading, each reader can make his or her own connections between the image and the text, and vice versa. In Olgiati's own words, "the book is first and foremost an independent work - an image that evokes new images in the viewer. It is a kind of iconographic autobiography." The monograph includes all of the architect's projects from 1996 to 2008, among them the Bardill Atelier in Scharans, the National Park Center in Zernez and the school in Paspels. Interestingly, the book was co-designed with Olgiati by Dino Simonett, and apparently the collaboration was exemplary, as his new publishing house Simonett & Baer has released further publications by the architect: "Non-referential Architecture," "The Images of Architects," "Villa Além," "House for a Musician - Atelier Bardill," "Paspels" and the latest monograph covering projects from 2009-2017.

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