Architecture: The Critics' Choice
by Peter Blundell Jones and Diane Ghirardo
The subtitle says "150 Masterpieces of Western Architecture Selected and Defined by the Experts." In this new book, ten notable architectural critics and historians from the United Kingdom and the United States have combined forces — and essays — to nominate some of the world's greatest architecture.
The selections range from antiquity to the present day. Two recent examples are displayed here. The essays cover each building's technical and design details and the broader social context in which it was created.
Münster (Germany) City Library
The Australian Peter Wilson and his German partner Julia Bolles met at the Architectural Association, London, in the 1970s where they studied and then taught, part of a talented group nurtured by the chairman Alvin Boyarsky, which also included such well known figures as Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid.
The Münster City Library was their first major job, won in a competition in Bolles' home town where they now have their office.
Its formal inventiveness certainly reflects the liberation of the 1970s but also the intense revival of interest at that time in the nature of cities, for although the building can be read in a sculptural way it is profoundly contextual in intention.
This article is excerpted from "Architecture: The Critics' Choice," edited by Dan Cruikshank, with permission of the publisher, Watson-Guptill Publications.