Herzog & de Meuron
The new ‘Retratos’ series – edited by Arquitectura Viva, in Spanish only – presents various texts that Luis Fernández-Galiano has written on the life and work of a select group of contemporary architects. Herzog & de Meuron is the sixth title out, after those devoted to Rafael Moneo, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Renzo Piano, and Frank Gehry, plus a special volume in remembrance of Enric Miralles. Illustrated with the architects’ own drawings and enriched with in-depth interviews, biographical profiles, and analyses of building works, these small books wish to paint a pixelated portrait of current masters, informative and critical at the same time.
Containing 96 pages in paperback, Herzog & de Meuron features eighteen texts that run through the career of the Swiss partners. The sequence of articles begins with a critical stocktaking of their first twenty years of work, carried out from their native Basel under the formative influence of the architect Aldo Rossi and the artist Joseph Beuys, which led to an extraordinary trajectory driven by a spirit of constant research that made each project a new experience. Some of their essential works – the railway Signal Box, the Dominus Winery, Tate Modern, various stadiums, from Allianz Arena to the Beijing ‘Bird’s Nest’ – are then described in detail, but the book also looks at unexecuted proposals and stage sets for operas, introduces a catalog of their stylistic features in the form of a dictionary, and explores their intellectual roots through texts published by the pair of architects. It ends with an article that syntactically abbreviates their biography as they turn 70, and suggests the reasons why they are seen as the ‘gold standard’ of architecture.
Collection 'Retratos', 2021
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