Tom Kundig: Working Title

Princeton Architectural. May 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781616898991. $80. ARCH
A crew of 17 photographers loaned their work to this fourth volume by Princeton Architectural Press on Northwest architect Tom Kundig. The result is a large-format, lavish, full-color catalog of 29 projects. Prefatory matter suggests a certain editorial slant toward pop-culture glamour, with a foreword by Vanity Fair contributor Mark Rozzo, the architect’s uninspiring University of Washington Distinguished Alumni Award acceptance speech, and an interview with Bob Dylan Archive curator Michael Chaiken. Celebrated for its use of mechanical hardware to operate louvers, doors, and windows and to modulate light and heat gain, Kundig’s work exhibits a modernist preference for rectilinear form and dramatic expanses of glass. In combination with sidebar text, one or two short paragraphs describe each building and introduce full-page or double-spread images exploring an understated use of steel, plywood, glass, and concrete—all employed in their natural, unfinished texture and color. A reverse chronology of the oeuvre, situated mostly on the West Coast, completes the volume, which would add up to more than a promotional vehicle if evident sources of inspiration, such as Mies and Pierre Koenig in the luxurious Los Angeles villa Collywood, were acknowledged.
VERDICT For large, comprehensive architecture collections.
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