Running one of the most prestigious architecture firms in the world, David Chipperfield is particularly appreciated in Spain, not only by virtue of his beautifully balanced work but also because of the warmth that radiates from one who spends long periods in a small Galician village, where he has built a second life of sorts, far from the bustle of London, and where he is actively involved, through his RIA Foundation, in defending the Arousa estuary area.
Arquitectura Viva now offers a splendid monograph – in side-by-side Spanish and English – that chronologically presents 65 projects of his, from the Toyota building in Kyoto (1989) to the Procuratie in Venice (2017). Generous documentation comes with critical texts penned by different authors, among them Luis Fernández-Galiano (the book’s editor), Sebastian Redecke, Deyan Sudjic, Flora Samuel, Deborah Berke, and the beloved, recently deceased Richard Ingersoll.
This is an essential publication for anyone wanting to grasp the scope and richness of the oeuvre of a prolific and “disciplined heart,” to quote the editor. A corpus of work that swings between material abstraction and refined figuration, forging links with the memory of places, in a career built upon a determination to reconcile modern innovation with timeless tradition. This establishes a natural oscillation between continuity and a balanced formal discontinuity, which in turn enables him to reinvent places and build different architectures that neverthe-less share a certain familiar fragrance.