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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 26 November 2009
This is a great addition to the Utzon Logbook series and covers Utzon's interest in systems - additive architecture. Systems clearly were a significant factor in Utzon's work, from the way in which he solved the issue of the shells for the Sydney Opera house by taking sections of a sphere (apparently the Eureka moment arriving for Utzon as he tucked into an orange), through to his Espansiva housing system of self-build portal frames through to Utzon's furniture systems. Utzon recognises the beauty in patterns and repetition, and this book is wonderfully illustrated throughout with inspirational images which wonderfully reinforce the point that nature operates as an additive system.

Utzon recognised simultaneously the need to create interest, not just bland repetition, and so introduced variations which tessellate - what we may today think of in terms of fractal or polyominoes. As a craftsman and builder himself, the rigour that imbues Utzon's architecture, stemming as it does from some form of underlying parameter or system means it will continue, in my mind, to outshine contemporary 'organic architecture' designed by a designer and then just given over to a structural engineer to solve the construction problems.

This book is a perfect balance of large format photographs, hard line drawings and sketches, all reproduced on heavyweight paper and at a meaningful scale. As with the other books in the series by Edition Blondal, it exudes quality, and is one of those books you feel proud to have purchased, not only because it is beautiful, but because the ideas contained within it are lessons that you can keep coming back to as a designer. In an age of hubris, this is calm, sober, thoughtful designing - a breath of Scandinavian fresh air.
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