The Swiss architect Peter Märkli is best known for La Congiunta, the gallery in the canton of Ticino that houses the reliefs of the sculptor Hans Josephson. He has also designed many residential projects in Switzerland. His unconventional approach, combined with his understanding of materials and color, make him a unique figure in contemporary European architecture.
Approximations focuses on Märkli's work from 1982 to the present. It traces the professional and political impact on Märkli's early work of Hans Josephson and the architect Rudolph Olgiati. It also shows how the elemental, almost "archaic" quality of Märkli's work is influenced by a wide variety of sources, including Greek antiquity, the Renaissance, the simple farmhouses of the Po Valley, African and Mexican art, and Matisse's paintings. The book contains an essay by Mohsen Mostafavi and an extensive conversation between Märkli and Marcel Meili.
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Mohsen Mostafavi is Dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.From Library Journal:
Swiss Minimalism, a trendy but imprecise term, encompasses a divergent group of Swiss architects whose uncompromisingly pared-down modernism has captured the attention of the rest of the architectural world. Peter Merkli, until recently an obscure architect who has produced only a few houses and apartments and one small museum, exemplifies this movement by denying that he works in any style whatsoever. This elegantly produced monograph confronts the viewer with drawings, plans, and meticulously composed photos of Merkli's stark, painstakingly proportioned structures. Mute, self-effacing, and devoid of extraneous elements, his designs are particularly compelling when contrasted to the self-promoting signature styles of today's big-name architects. Mostafavi, director of London's Architectural Association School, where Merkli was featured in an exhibition this year, provides a text that delves deeply into the architect's thought processes but leaves readers without a clear understanding of his place in the wider context of modernist architecture at the turn of the 20th century. A worthy addition to academic and special libraries attempting to keep up with architecture's rising stars.
David Soltesz, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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