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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenology and regionalism grounded in reality, 21 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Papers 2: Sergison Bates Architects (Paperback)
I read this book the other day during a particularly boring three hour crit session at university, and found it very engaging. Sergison and Bates alternate with various papers they have written between their last bound set of thoughts in Papers. Papers II represents their work and thoughts over the five years since Papers was published. What is important to say is this is categorically not a monograph of Sergison Bates's built work. It is a collection of their views on architecture, on how we build, on how we live. It varies from the phenomenological of the memories evoked by rooms they architects have inhabited, reviews of low budget projects and how conflicts were resolved (Tilbury self-build) through to details such as handles and the sensuous and cultural memory imbued in materials like bricks. It is essentially a self-critic and an industry critique. The format is generally a paper, ranging from 2 pages to maybe 8, then a collection of images.

My feeling is that this book bridges between the overly abstract, personal and occasionally nebulous style of Zumthor's "Thinking Architecture" to a more pragmatic way of thinking about identity and architecture. The influence of the pair's teaching at ETH is evident, and this book is an essential read for those interested in critical regionalism. It's a shame its so hard to obtain a copy - I've started to notice that the best architectural books with any sort of Swiss-leaning have a limited print run, so you need to move quick should Papers III be published.
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Papers 2: Sergison Bates Architects
Papers 2: Sergison Bates Architects by Stephen Bates (Paperback - 20 Sept. 2007)
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