The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture--so massive that it comes in its own plastic carrying case--is one of the rare publishing events that lives up to its hype. The book showcases 1,052 buildings completed since January 1998 with thousands of well-chosen color photographs plans, elevations, and cross-sections. Major elements of each project are described in elegantly succinct texts. Rather than simply pay lip service to the concept of "world" architecture, this book ranges throughout 75 countries on six continents. And although the big names in the field are here--Rafael Moneo and Herzog & De Meuron are each represented by nine projects; Tadeo Ando with eight, Frank Gehry with six--the focus is on the ingenuity and diversity of contemporary architecture, regardless of the fame of its creator.
The book's global view embraces many approaches, including experimental construction, neo-modernism, postmodernism, reinterpreted vernacular architecture and lingering traces of the International Style. While virtually every building type is included, from factories to museums, from lookout towers to train stations, the largest and most creative category is single family housing. Selected (as were all the projects) by a panel of leading architects, critics, scholars and others, these homes offer a tantalizing sense of what is possible, even on a modest budget. Grouped by country, the residences establish a sense of local context--from the elegant use of Scandinavian wood to the imaginative use of narrow plots of land in Tokyo. Fully indexed, with an array of maps and world data charts, The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture
is destined to serve as a unique reference tool. But the geographic organization encourages you to just open the book anywhere and make a discovery--perhaps the surreal vision of Ake Larsson's Icehotel (carved from ice and snow), or the forest of Cor-ten steel pipes Jose ABP Forjaz used in the Mbuzini Memorial, or the startling shed forms of Rick Joys Tubac House. --Cathy Curtis
'An encyclopedia in one giant volume - five, even ten books in one. Breathtakingly illustrated...a thrill a page...All the buildings included date from 1998 or later so it is a genuine survey of contemporary architecture ... For anyone wishing to see modern wonders on his travels as well as ancient ones this book is a brilliant guide, including many places that are destinations in their own right.' (The Times) 'The modern wonders of the building world...Think of it as a Lonely Planet guide with more 3D elevations and less crap about taxi scams and bilharzia. Impressive...' (Arena) 'An extraordinarily thorough 'best of' exercise...What makes it different from dozens of other books offering the same thing is its ambition and its details...This is the biggest of big picture books...packed with interesting stuff. I could rifle through it for days. Full marks for having drawings that explain the pictures...the scale of this work, and the accessibility of its design, is such that is deserves a wider audience.' (The Sunday Times) 'The only global look at cutting-edge building that's available between two covers...[a] compendium of cool.' (Newsweek) 'For architects, students and the general enthusiast, this titanic tome is an essential source of reference.' (V&A) 'An event of a book, so big it could be the eighth wonder of the world...an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in the cutting edge of architecture. At GBP100, it is quite a bargain too. A must for every bookshelf.' (IDFX) 'So vast it practically needs planning permission...the perfect source book.' (Wallpaper*) 'Wonderful' (Elle Decoration) 'The new Phaidon Atlas is an amazing adventure. Never have I seen more works of architecture from around the world so extensively documented. This Atlas which covers the globe is a must-have for architecture students and professionals alike, as it documents work built from Iceland to New Zealand.' (Richard Meier, architect) 'Move over Bannister Fletcher, there's a new book in town.' (Aaron Betsky, Director of Netherlands Architecture Institute) 'It's a fascinating education for those of us who build or care about making architecture.' (Hani Rashid, Architect and Designer, Asymptote) 'Now we need to reinforce the shelving!'(Zaha Hadid, architect) 'What a brilliant resource.' (David Adjaye, architect) 'Unique, definitive and authoritative, the Atlas demonstrates that architecture is a truly global phenomenon.' (Deyan Sudjic, Curator and Critic) 'A wonderful resource on architecture.' (Bob Emmerson, Chairman, Arup Group) 'A first-class ticket.' (Will Alsop, architect) 'Heavy-weight champion of architecture reference books.' (Architect's Newspaper)