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Customer Review

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another good architect and fairish architectural book., 24 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: John Pawson Works (Hardcover)
This book looks architectural: grey and white with tracing paper dust cover. But, what an architect seeks in a colleague's book is to take a look at his frame of mind: what he is up to. This is illustrated with good photos, some computer generated perspectives, a couple of free hand drawings -obviously made for the book and modishly printed white line on grey- some smallish footprints, no cross sections or details. The problem with minimal architecture, which some degrade into decoration, is that it looks cosmetic (exept some outstanding work like the Pawson-Silvestrin Neuendorf villa). The book lacks probing into architecture to see how Pawson makes it work or what he is concealing. More important: there is no insight into his philosophy, process or creative ideas, exept some mention of over mentioned cistercian monks. Instead, after some biographical information and praise, the author (Dejan Sudjic) thickens the tome with gossip about Calvin Klein, Martha Stewart and some insight of U.S.of A. everyday folklore like: quote "never less than tree recreational vehicles, barely house trained pick up trucks, pumped up in steroids so that they require a step ladder just to reach the running board", and rants about Bilbao Guggenheim suitability. This makes the volume a smallish coffe table book. It is a pity because even though his Minimum book is one of the unstopable stream (cataract) of photo-source books, it is quite dignified, probably outstanding, only under
the Stotsass's "The curious Mr. Stotsass". This much waited for book gets bogged into coffe table niceness. Nevertheless it is much better than his ex partner Silvestrin's design nightmare (read my review).
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