RECORD’s holiday roundup highlights books that deal with urbanity in its many guises, from perspectives that embrace skyscrapers to those that see antidotes to density in low-rise planning and landscape design.
In 2014, after accepting the inaugural Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron drove from Chicago to Plano, Illinois, to visit Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, completed in 1951.
It might seem strange that, in a book titled If Venice Dies, the first mention of rising sea levels doesn’t come until page 45, and a discussion of the city’s scandal-plagued flood-barrier construction is held back until page 140.
Catie Marron, chairman of the board at Friends of the High Line in New York, has collected 18 thoughtful essays on urban squares to follow her previous book, City Parks: Public Places, Private Thoughts (2013).
While all buildings are subject to the decay and ruin brought by time, historian Daniel Abramson is concerned in this book with a different culprit: obsolescence, or the process of becoming “obsolete.”
As a practicing structural engineer, Guy Nordenson has been involved in the design of some of the most notable buildings of recent decades, including Steven Holl’s carved-block Simmons Hall Residence at MIT (2002), Richard Meier’s curve-walled Jubilee Church in Rome (2003), and SANAA’s precariously stacked New Museum in New York (2007).