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Unbuilt Masterworks of the 21st Century [Hardcover]

by Will Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 19, 2009 0500342547 978-0500342541 0

Provides a fascinating glimpse into an architectural practice's ambitions and design process, and a treasure trove of design ideas.

What happens to the projects that are produced for international competitions when they don’t win? Or the grand plans for which hundreds of thousands of dollars or euros are spent in research and development but which are never built? Or the proposals for speculative builders who can’t, in the end, raise the money? Or the buildings commissioned by governments which are too visionary to be constructed? A single image might appear in professional journals, but most of the plans will disappear, never to be seen again.

This book features one hundred of the best unbuilt projects proposed since the turn of the millennium by some of the world’s greatest contemporary architects, including Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas/OMA, Foreign Office Architects, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Zaha Hadid, as well as rising stars such as Jürgen Mayer H Architects and Asymptote.

Arranged in sections according to function—entertainment spaces, museums, urban plans, education, habitation—the projects are presented in detail through texts that consider the importance of the designs and assess why they weren’t built, along with renderings and plans. Many of the more than 600 illustrations have not been seen outside the practices themselves. 747 color, 153 b&w illustrations

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Editorial Reviews


“Those who fear otherworldly creativity digital design has wrought need to look to this graveyard of what might have been to praise the recession’s tightened-purse strings.” (International Design)

“A fascinating, profusely illustrated gander at the extraordinary structures designed for international competitions.” (Metropolitan Home)

“Massive and generously illustrated compendium of 100 unbuilt projects is an entertaining idea-generator.” (

About the Author

Will Jones is a former construction professional whose books include New Transport Architecture and Great Modern Structures. He lives in London.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (October 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500342547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500342541
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 10 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,427,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Architecture August 14, 2010
By Art525
Any aspiring architect (1st year student of at the University of Washington) should purchase this book. There's LOTS of inspiring public and private architecture here to get ideas from.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book January 18, 2012
By YuliaV
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a nice book to have, but not for architects.
It is a bit too figural where most of the projects are simply an object in space and not an actual architecture.
It is nice in a way where it has bright colors, and some unique shapes along with buildings' skins. Most of the people would find it impressive I should say.
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