Architecture is a subject that is always well represented in the books submitted. It often produces books like paving stones, created through the input of considerable energy and with vast numbers of drawings, maps and photographs. And words, of course, often very many of them.
This book about C.B. van der Tak (1900-77) is aimed principally at a specialized audience, offering as it does an exhaustive study of one man’s life and architecture – and most of that in one place, Amersfoort. His career was almost irredeemably scarred by his membership of the Dutch national socialist party, the NSB. The authors leave no stone unturned: there is even space for a genealogy of the van der Tak family going back to the seventeenth century.
This voluminous, attractive book is conspicuous by its lucidity and the quality of its lithography, printing and standard of finish. The huge quantity of information it contains is served up in a clearly recognizable structure, with shorter introductory or more parenthetical texts on a grey background or reversed out on black, and key texts printed in red. The placing of the folios in the gutter was a source of criticism. Who ever looks for page numbers there?