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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1355 pages
  • Publisher: Monacelli Press; 2nd edition edition (22 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885254865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885254863
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 7 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

This extraordinary, massive, and mind-boggling 1,300-page book combines essays, manifestos, diaries, fairy tales, travelogues, a cycle of meditations on the contemporary city--and complex illustration--with work produced by Koolhaas' Office for Metropolitan Architecture over the past twenty years. This almost overwhelming accumulation of words and images illuminates the condition of architecture today--its splendors and miseries--exploring and revealing the corrosive effects of politics, context, the economy, and globalization. In some ways, this is the "Medium is the Message" of 1990s architectural discourse: guaranteed to be hugely influential in the coming decades, but grossly misunderstood by those who have not read it. The core arguments it makes about metropolitan architecture--accepting complexity and lack of centralized control--are similar to those of Kevin Kelly's Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World. Very highly recommended.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 20 Mar. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I write as someone who loves to have a vaguely speculative architecture book on the go. This book is an obvious addition to my reading but it does come with a hefty price tag. It is also the size of a medieval bible, or a couple of housebricks. This is a very big book.

People might well be wary as to whether this is something that they want to invest the time, money and shelf space for.

Well, I would describe it as a collage of sorts. It contains a variety of writings, plans, diagrams, and photos. Although it is ostensibly about architecture and urbanism, it does not really go into specifying toilets or building standards. This is about architects as heroic creators of imaginary worlds, that sometimes become real. It also includes a listing of quotes arranged in alphabetical order running as a sidebar across many of the pages. In the conclusion of the book these are attributed. They are a thought provoking selection coming form such sources as JG Ballard, Wim Wenders, Umberto Eco, Jorge Luis Borges etc.

It is not really a didactic book, it is not a manifesto, more it is the scrapings from notebooks and writing, and photos, etc etc. It is a late night whimsy made flesh.

If you are a fan of Koolhaas then the book needs no further recommendation, if you are not then you will probably find much to enjoy here. However, if you thought Bldgblog Book: Architectural Conjecture, Urban Speculation, Landscape Futures was whimsical and pointless then you will really hate this with a vengeance.

Despite the length it is not a hard read. You can easily read a hundred pages in an hour or two as most of the pages are filled with images.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic, the only thing is that you feel a bit disappointed by its size. you pay good money for it so you would expect a bit bigger size. But overall, great.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A really good choice and a very good book! I would definitely recommend it to the lovers of this work.
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