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

22 of May '20

4. "Herzog & de Meuron. Complete Works"
(Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6)

Authors: Herzog & de Meuron, Gerhard Mack
Publisher: Birkhäuser
Basel 1997-2017

Herzog & deMeuron, Gerhard Mack „Herzog & de Meuron. Complete Works

At the turn of the 20th century, Herzog & de Meuron joined the ranks of architects not only publishing, but also designing their own monographs. The five parts of "Complete Works" published so far, documenting works from 1978-1988 (Volume 1), 1989-1991 (Volume 2), 1992-1996 (Volume 3), 1997-2001 (Volume 4) and 2005-2007 (Volume 6, which disrupts the chronology somewhat, as it was published before the fifth) were created in collaboration with Gerhard Mack and the Basel-based Birkhäuser publishing house.

They present the output of the Swiss duo from their early days together in 1978 (and their joint project "Feuerstätte II" with the German artist Joseph Beuys) to the early 21st century, when the studio they founded became one of the most influential architectural offices in the world. In addition to comprehensive presentations of individual projects (often previously unpublished), the five monographs include descriptions, interviews, critical texts and early manifestos by Jacques Herzog: "The Specific Gravity of Architecture" from 1981, "The Hidden Geometry of Nature" (1988), "Firmitas" (1996) or "Gadamer's Floor" (2000). The colorful canvas covers of all volumes are a clear nod to the painting work of Remy Zaugg, who has collaborated with H&deM on several projects. Herzog & de Meuron, by the way, are known for their numerous collaborations with artists (including Thomas Ruff, Olafur Eliasson, Gerhard Richter and Ai Weiwei). After the repetitive graphic pattern of the first three parts, the last two monographs (their composition was developed by Ludovic Balland) featured much more material illustrating the process of creating each project (sketches, alternative concepts, material studies, mock-up samples, construction photos, etc.).

In 2018, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Herzog & de Meuron studio, omnibus versions of all volumes published to date were published in a more economical paperback. And the missing - the fifth volume, "Complete Works" (scheduled for release in the summer of 2020), will present some of the Swiss's most important projects and realizations begun between 2002 and 2004 - including the Olympic Stadium in Beijing, the expansion of the Tate Modern in London and the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg. It will be the perfect gift from, but also for, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, who celebrated a round 70th birthday in late April and early May.


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