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Wunderkammerby Tod Williams
Synopses & Reviews
Inspired by the idea of the wunderkammerand#151;and#147;wonder-roomand#8221; or and#147;cabinet of curiositiesand#8221;and#151;that originated during the Renaissance, world-renowned architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien invited 35 celebrated architects and designers from around the world to create their own wunderkammers, filling boxes with objects that inspire them. This delightful book gathers together the varied, evocative wunderkammers along with accompanying statements by their architect-creators, including such luminaries as Shigeru Ban, Toyo Ito, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Peter Eisenman, Steven Holl, Richard Meier, Murray Moss, Diand#233;band#233;do Francis Kerand#233;, Juhani Pallasmaa, Elias Torres, and Peter Zumthor.
An introduction by Williams and Tsien explains their fascination with the wunderkammer and looks at their own history of collecting. The boxes, each spotlighted in its own section, are explored through each architectand#8217;s essay; working drawings and sketchbook pages; construction and installation photos; a list of the items contained; and a photograph of the final box. Wunderkammer offers a new way to think about art and inventiveness, collection and meaning in everyday objects.
"As Williams and Tsien explain in their introduction, the wunderkammer ('wonder-room' or 'cabinet of curiosities') 'arose in Renaissance Europe as repositories for all kinds of wondrous and exotic objects.' These two architects collect exotic objects themselves, some of which are shown in photographs at the beginning of this enchanting book, but when invited to participate in the 2012 Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibition, they decided that rather than display their own creations, they would ask 42 of their architect and artist friends (including Richard Meier, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and Elias Torres) to 'fill a box with objects that inspire them' and as a result, 'see if there was a thread that united us through the objects we love.' Williams and Tsien arranged the boxes in the Casa Scaffali ('house of shelves'), a remote, fairy tale — like shed overgrown with shrubbery, remarkably apt for their scheme. In this catalogue, only a few enticing photographs depict the entire collection as displayed; several pages are devoted to individual boxes, with a picture of the work itself, writings about it by its maker, photos of the work in progress, and the discussion of the artist's process. As Williams and Tsien intended when inviting in 'the fabric of the lives' of their friends, they managed 'to open a door to their minds without the need for words.' 300 color illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
An alluring glimpse into magnificent Cornell-like boxes created by some of the worldand#8217;s leading architects and designers
About the Author
Tod Williams and Billie Tsien are the founding members of the New York-based architecture firm in their name. Their built works include the recently relocated Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.
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Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Architects