′Nigel Coates walk through narrative architecture is fun and fascinating. (RIBA Journal, March 2012)
The book does solidly live up to its promise, providing a staggering number of references that for the first time build up a broad picture of the scope and range of narrative architecture in all its guises (Blueprint, April 2012)
Narrative Architecture is certainly a good read. (Architectural Review, April 2012)
From the Back Cover
In architecture, narrative prioritises human experiences and the need to shape them into stories. It places the emphasis on a building s meaning rather than performance. To architects, the enduring attraction of narrative is that it offers a way of engaging with the way a city feels and works. Rather than reducing architecture to a mere style or an overt emphasis on technology, it foregrounds how buildings are experienced.
Since the early 1980s, many architects have used the term narrative to describe their work. Nigel Coates was at the forefront of this movement as one of the founders of NATO (Narrative Architecture Today) at the Architectural Association in London. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he spearheaded narrative practice in the commercial world with designs for fashion retail, bars and nightclubs in London, Tokyo and Istanbul. Retailers, restaurant owners and event organisers, keen to talk to their customers in new ways, soon followed suit, adopting a narrative approach.
In this book, Coates explores the potential for narrative as a way of interpreting buildings from ancient history through to the present. It features architects as diverse as William Kent, Antoni Gaudí, Eero Saarinen, Ettore Sottsass, Superstudio, Rem Koolhaas and FAT. It provides an overview of the work of NATO and Coates, as well as chapters on other contemporary designers. In so doing it signposts narrative s significance as a design approach that can aid architecture to remain relevant in this complex, multidisciplinary and multi–everything age.