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The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture
By Virginia McLeod

May 31, 2004 /
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An essential addition to the libraries of architects and all those who appreciate the importance of our built heritage, past, present and future.
 
1,052 buildings
656 architects
75 countries
5,500 color images
2,000 black and white line drawings
62 specially commissioned maps
389,000 words

This massive, high-impact book places the work of internationally acclaimed architects alongside emerging architectural stars and those currently unknown outside their own country.  

2atlas.jpg Photo: arcspace

Documenting the world's most outstanding works of contemporary architecture built since 1998, this first edition of The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture is a valuable tool in understanding the state of contemporary architecture at the beginning of the new millennium.  

Organized geographically and illustrated with global, regional and sub-regional maps locating each building, the book illustrates more than 1,000 completed buildings, and includes some of the most influential projects as well as many lesser-known buildings from around the world. Sections on World Data, Building Data and Architect's Biographies build up a detailed picture of the influences on contemporary architecture today. Every building type, from the largest publicly funded art museums and airports to private houses, is covered, and each project is illustrated with colour photographs, line drawings and a descriptive text.

The Project Pages are divided into six regions presented in the following order: Oceania, Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, South America

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4atlas.jpg Selfridges Department Store (2003)
Birmingham, Westmidlands, UK
Architect: Future Systems

Future Systems reinterpreted the notion of a department store, not only in its appearance, but also by analyzing the social function such a building plays in contemporary society.  The form of the building is soft and curvaceous in response to the natural curve of the site, sweeping around the corner and wrapping over the top to form the roof, it is expressive in a way that is aesthetically innovative but also signifies its function as a department store, without the need for signage.

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6atlas.jpg Red House (2002)
Oslo, Norway  
Architect: Jarmund/Vignæs Architects
 
The Red House, the color according to the architect, reflecting the temperament of the client, is an example of a staple of Scandinavian architecture, a family house in a spectacular, heavily wooded landscape.  The house is both intimately connected with the natural landscape around it, and gloriously proud of it - a fire-engine-red object in the forest.

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8atlas.jpg The Peter B. Lewis Building (2000)  
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio  
Architect: Gehry Partners

The Peter B. Lewis building contains administrative and educational facilities for the Weatherhead School of management.  

A series of largely rectilinear blocks form a U-shape around two sculptural towers clad in stainless steel which contain the four largest classrooms and which rise through the center of the plan, an arrangement which produces a canyon-like atrium between the towers and the perimeter blocks.  The steel towers appear as billowing growths bursting out of the more regular volumes.

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10atlas.jpg Small House (2000)
Tokyo, Japan  
Architect: SANAA (Kazuyo sejima & Ryue/Nishizawa)
 
Small by name and by nature, this house occupies a compact site in a densely populated part of the city, and is subject to zoning and light restrictions which has shaped the design.  

The distinctive form is tapered at the top and recessed at the bottom and resembles an industrial flue, which is how it operates.
Opaque glass and galvanized steel provide the wrapping for this domestic container.  

The house has a steel frame and two spiral staircases around which the four-storeys are organized, on concrete floors.

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12atlas.jpg Mbbuzini Memorial (1998)
Mbuzini Republic of South Africa  
Architect: José ABP Forjaz

Thirty-five cor-ten steel pipes set in a concrete plinth mark the spot where a plane crashed on November 18, 1986. A wedge of rage stabbing the mountain, the monument consists of 9 meter (30 foot) pipes containing slits of various sizes and orientation. The pipes are tied to different heights with concrete to form a musical instrument, a funeral organ that plays a macabre lament, ranging from an eerie murmur in low breezes to a howling scream in high winds. Like giant tuning forks, the pipes are amplified by a triangular concrete box below.

The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture continues Phaidon's twenty year tradition of fine architectural publishing. Three years in the making this book represents an enormous undertaking which has drawn on the expert knowledge and commitment of hundreds of individuals and organisations world-wide.

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Publisher: Phaidon

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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