Best of 2013 METALOCUS # Books.

Best 2013
metalocus, JOSÉ JUAN BARBA
Architecture, Publications
Our selection of 2013 best books. They are books to enjoy their reading, their graphic content, not strictly architectural books, getting out of the inbred world of architecture.

01. Citizens of No Place. An Architectural Graphic Novel.

Citizens of No Place published by Princeton Architectural Press, is a collection of short stories on architecture and urbanism, graphically represented using manga-style storyboards. Jimenez Lai, its author speaks about the conflation of representation, design, theory and storytelling by working through comics and translating the alternate worlds into physical installations.

02. Le Corbusier Secret Photographer.

In Le Corbusier: Secret Photographer, Tim Benton reflects on the famous architect’s use of photography, starting with the young Charles-Edouard Jeanneret’s attempts to take professional photographs during his travels in central Europe, the Balkans, Turkey, Greece, and Italy. While Le Corbusier always claimed that he saw no virtue in taking photographs, he actually bought three cameras and took several hundred photographs between 1907 and 1917, many of them of publishable quality. In 1936 he acquired a 16mm movie camera and took 120 sequences of film and nearly 6,000 photographs with it.

03. Sex, Buildings and Architecture.

Massive modern skyscrapers, obelisks, towers—all are structures that, thanks to their phallic shape, are often associated with sex. But other buildings are more subtly connected, as they provide the frameworks for our sexual lives and act as reminders of our sexual memories. This relationship between sex and buildings mattered more than ever in the United States and Europe during the turbulent twentieth century, when a culture of unprecedented sexual frankness and tolerance emerged and came to dominate many aspects of public life.

04. Bullet Park (novel, 1969).

Bullet Park is a 1969 novel written by American Novelist John Cheever about an earnest yet pensive father Eliot Nailles and his troubled son Tony, and their predestined fate with a psychotic man Hammer, who moves to Bullet Park to sacrifice one of them. The book deals with the failure of the American dream, spoken in a fable-like tone, in similar vein with Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road and F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Great Gatsby.

05. All The Buildings In New York.

"All The Buildings In New York" is a personal project of James Gulliver Hancock. An illustrator from Australia now based between Sydney, and New York. This project stems from an interest in obsession and recording of places. New York holds a special place in everyone’s heart, romanticized from Seasame Street and old movies like Rear Window and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In his blog records an attempt to make the city personal by passing a pen over every structure, hopefully making up for the time not spent in New York.

06. Marilyn Monroe, in the flesh.

A deluxe edition by Taschen to count as, just months before her death, Marilyn Monroe gave a young photographer his big break, and this is his stor...

07. Swinging Gotham.

It’s the Roaring Twenties, and New York is exploding with jazz fever. Crowds flock to the nightclubs and dance halls in Harlem to see the likes of Louis Armstrong with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra playing at the Kentucky Club, or Duke Ellington at the Roseland Ballroom or the world-famous Cotton Club. Designed, illustrated, and edited by Robert Nippoldt, this award-winning book pays homage to this exceptional era, via an entertaining blend of illustrations, facts, and amusing anecdotes presenting 24 leading lights of New York’s jazz scene in the 1920s, complete with a CD containing some of their best tunes. The texts, contributed by Hans-Jürgen Schaal, give a vivid account of the club scene and the “band battles,” as well as the legendary recording sessions. A splendid read, a groovy CD—and not strictly for jazz fans only!


Normally the most known and published houses are works by architects for their clients, however the houses where they live, their own devising, often are quite unknown. It is often said that the architect's home is a very complicated exercise when is designed by himself because the level of criticism that assumes is high and it means a big reflection of their own professional identity.

09. Cities Without Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook.

This unique urban condition has now been mapped for the first time by motley trio of architects and academics, who have brought their findings together in Cities Without Ground: A Hong Kong Guidebook (ORO Editions).The book, by Jonathan Solomon, Clara Wong and Adam Frampto, takes a systematic look at the layered topography of the city, drawing over 32 key areas in exploded axonometric diagrams to reveal the interweaving networks of pedestrian infrastructur.


Lambert was a 27-year-old artist living in Paris when her father Samuel Bronfman, founder of the Seagram distillery, asked her to take over the search for an architect to design his company’s headquarters in New York. Lambert in turn made the cogent decision to commission the pioneering modern master Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), in collaboration with Philip Johnson (1906-2005).

Best of 2013 METALOCUS # Books.



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