This is a piece of absolutely blunt promotion (free): I’ve recently bought a very nice book, Yes is More, by the Danish architectural agency BIG (named after its founder and still a director, Bjarke Ingels); but ‘nice’ would be an understatement, it’s truly a remarkable book, in many senses. I can’t say it’s the first book about architecture I read with great pleasure, but it definitely belongs to a set a of very few such ones.
I like the opening story, about Bruce Mau who came to their studio, liked one of the projects, and later asked to send him the slides describing it. When he received the slides, he thought it’s a wrong set, and asked to send him the ‘right’ one. When he was eventually assured that this is exactly the project they discussed the other day, he was shocked by the difference between the dead slides, and the live, vibrant, colorful story he heard in the office. The book is an effort to recreate this experience of a live story-telling, and the team creatively uses various tools to achieve it: the book is written in a form of a comic strip, with a first-person voice-over balloons. And this is a very honest voice, not a typical grand, over-polished vision-mission corporate lingo. There is a lot of humor and self-irony in the book, and what is also important, we see the efforts to show the real complexity of the projects’s emergence, not post-rationalizations. And yes, many of the projects are nice, too.
I selected just a few of very many great projects, very subjectively, of course. This one, for example, is just a sheer beauty; called The Escher Tower, it does make your mind a bit dizzy (that’s one building, by the way, not four):
This is one of their ‘mountains’ projects (they have quite a few of those). Ok, everything is relative, and for some these ‘mountains’ are not so huge. But for the land as flat as Denmark it should look quite impressive (and I was a climber earlier in my life, so these themes have a special appeal to me).
Another mountains, this time designed for an island near Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. It is based on the idea of the Seven Sacred Mountains of Azerbaijan (never heard about them, but nvm). The island also claims to (eventually) have a zero use of carbon fuel, quite a statement for one of the oil-richest country in the world.
Perhaps, not the best photography, but a wonderful concept, of an Infinity Loop building; designed specially for the Eternal Walks.
A very nice book indeed; I felt pity when it was over, and I regret it doesn’t exist online, in some sort of form wiki or a forum where people could add their own ideas and interpretations.