Francoise Bollack

Mar 12, 2021

Material Transfers

Metaphor, Craft, and Place in Contemporary Architecture

Monacelli Press 2020

In Material Transfers: Metaphor, Craft, and Place in Contemporary Architecture (Monacelli Press, 2020), architect, architectural historian, and preservationist Françoise Bollack presents eighteen projects that use traditional materials to build contemporary forms or use modern materials to build traditional forms, blurring the boundary between tradition and modernity in architecture.

Bollack rejects the modernist taboo against imitation and precedent, tracing the history of adaptive and imitative design from the Renaissance to the Greek and Gothic revivals and to the nineteenth-century modular cast-iron facades that Philip Johnson considered "the basis for modern design."

The book examines projects in the US, Europe, and Japan, encompassing a broad range of building types: residential, hospitality, commercial and retail, and cultural spaces. All share an intriguing, even radical, approach to reinterpreting traditional forms and materials. Humble thatch moves beyond the farmhouse roof to clad the walls of a Danish environmental center; a photographic image of a Parisian facade becomes a scrim on the facade of a new building; the ghost of an ancient Italian basilica is outlined in wire mesh.

Among the featured architects are Kengo Kuma, architect of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic stadium; MVRDV, a highly regarded Dutch firm; Lacaton & Vassal and Chartier/Corbasson in France; Skene Catling de la Peña in the UK; Morris Adjmi in the USA; Max Dudler in Germany; Dortre Mandrup in Denmark; and Herzog & de Meuron in Switzerland.

Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Adjunct Professor at Alfred State College and the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he can be reached by sending an email to btoepfer@toepferarchitecture.

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Bryan Toepfer

Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Assistant Professor at Alfred State College and the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he hosts the New Books Network – Architecture podcast, is an NCARB Licensing Advisor and helps coach candidates taking the Architectural Registration Exam.

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