Feature: BWAF Bookshelf, December 2013

From the BWAF Bookshelf


From left: Building/Inside Studio Gang Architects; Lina Bo Bardi; Biographies & Space: Placing the Subject in Art and Architecture (credits below).

The December 2013 BWAF Bookshelf features books on the architecture work of Studio Gang Architects, led by Jeanne Gang, FAIA (BWAF speaker during the 2009 Women of Architecture lecture at the National Building Museum); the design and architecture work of prolific Brazillian modernist architect, Lina Bo Bardi; an exploration of the relationship of biographies and space. Books include Building Inside Studio Gang Architects; Lina Bo Bardi; and Biographies and Space: Placing the Subject in Art and Architecture.

Building/Inside Studio Gang Architects
Edited by Jeanne Gang & Zoë Ryan
Yale University Press (November 27, 2012)

One of the foremost architects working today, Jeanne Gang is widely recognized for her innovative and independent practice. Studio Gang Architects confronts pressing contemporary issues and seeks to answer questions that exist locally but resound globally. The firm’s work is exemplified by recent projects such as the Aqua Tower in Chicago, an 82-story high-rise, which critic Paul Goldberger described as “reclaim[ing] the notion that thrilling and beautiful form can still emerge out of the realm of the practical.”

With the studio poised to contribute a new set of buildings to the global skyline, Building examines its most current work, twelve built and unbuilt projects that address four major issues facing contemporary architecture: its relationship to nature, the development of dense urban areas, the integration of the ideas of community members, and architecture and performance. Featuring essays, interviews, sketches, and drawings—many previously unpublished—this beautifully illustrated book provides an insider’s look at a cutting-edge architectural practice.

Lina Bo Bardi

Zeuler R. M. de A. Lima; With a foreword by Barry Bergdoll
Yale University Press (November 26, 2013)

Lina Bo Bardi (1914–1992), one of the most important architects working in Latin America in the 20th century, was remarkably prolific and intriguingly idiosyncratic. A participant in the efforts to reshape Italian culture in her youth, Bo Bardi immigrated to Brazil with her husband in 1946. In Brazil, her practice evolved within the social and cultural realities of her adopted country. While she continued to work with industrial materials like concrete and glass, she added popular building materials and naturalistic forms to her design palette, striving to create large, multiuse spaces that welcomed public life.

Lina Bo Bardi is the first comprehensive study of Bo Bardi’s career and showcases author Zeuler Lima’s extensive archival work in Italy and Brazil. The leading authority on Bo Bardi, Lima frames the architect’s activities on two continents and in five cities. The book examines how considerations of ethics, politics, and social inclusiveness influenced Bo Bardi’s intellectual engagement with modern architecture and provides an authoritative guide to her experimental, ephemeral, and iconic works of design.

Biographies & Space: Placing the Subject in Art and Architecture
Edited by Dana Arnold, Joanna Sofaer Derevenski
Routledge Taylor & Francis Group (December 14, 2007)

Bringing together a collection of high-profile authors, Biographies and Space presents essays exploring the relationship between biography and space and how specific subjects are used as a means of explaining sets of social, cultural and spatial relationships.

Biographical methods of historical investigation can bring out the authentic voice of subjects, revealing personal meanings and strategies in space as well as providing a means to analyze relations between the personal and the social. Writing about both actual (architectural) and imagined (pictorial) space, the authors consider issues of gender, childhood, sexuality and race, highlighting an increasing fluidity and interaction between theory, methods and history.

Biographies and Space is an original and exciting new book, with direct relevance to both architectural and art history.


Excerpts of the descriptions were obtained from the publishers’ websites.
Photo Credits: Photos were obtained from publishers’ websites.

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