A few weeks ago (I know, I’ve been behind on my book posts!) I was also sent a new book from my favorite publisher Gestalten called Build On. I had seen the book in one of their email blasts and asked if they’d send me one (and they did) and it’s as rad as I thought it would be.
The book is about transformative and converted architecture, taking an existing building and modifying it in some way. Take for example the Selexzy + Dominicanen Bookstore by Merkx + Girod Architects, which graces the front of the book (and which I posted about back in 2007). The structure itself is a thirteenth century church which had a giant, steel, three story bookstore put inside of it. To me it looks like it absolutely fits in the space, makes full use of it’s vertical space and lets you see the ancient friezes that line the ceilings.
They’ve split the book into three sections; As Found, Insideout and Change Clothes. The first is about using the existing structures and transforming them into spaces that make sense for people of today. Insideout is about adding onto buildings in unique ways that fully merge the old buildings with their contemporary additions, adding to the buildings built-in characteristics. The final chapter is Change Clothes which is about changing one entire aspect of a space drastically, take for example the High Line in New York.
When I first got this book I poured over all of the projects. I’ve seen a few of these online, but I’d say that 90% of these I had never seen before, so it was quite a treat. Build On totally makes me want to move to some tiny nordic town and create my own little paradise in a 300 year old building.