Building as Ornament
Iconography in Contemporary Architecture
The new ornament in architecture
Includes interviews with Adriaan Geuze, Michiel Riedijk, Winy Maas, Steven Holl, Bjarke Ingels and other architects
The ornament is back, but now on the scale of the building as a whole. A letter of the alphabet, a dress, a rock formation or an airplane – the diversity of forms the new architecture can take is almost infinite. In Building as Ornament, Michiel van Raaij, in ten interviews, traces back how this new architecture first emerged in the early 1990s and how it has matured at the start of the twenty-first century.
A new generation of architects regards the design of the scaled-up ornament as an intricate part of their practice. What are their motivations? How do they place their ideas in the tradition of their old profession? Michiel van Raaij argues that the new ornament allows architects to design ever more eloquent buildings, but that this new practice is also bound by certain rules. A successful ornament represents a virtue and explains the function, social status, construction, organization and context of the building.
Michiel van Raaij is editor-in-chief of Architectenweb, a leading architecture platform in the Netherlands.
‘Ornament is everywhere, it is part of our DNA’ Adriaan Geuze
‘It is all about a cultural signification that communicates what is happening inside a building’ Michiel Riedijk
ISBN 978-94-6208-044-7 | 1. edition | May 2014 | available | Michiel van Raaij | design: Joseph Plateau/Peter Kingma | English | paperback | 13,5 x 21 cm | 240 pages | illustrated (240 full color)