This book is an effective and unpretentious demonstration of how its subject can be transmuted into a printed work with simplicity and restraint. In this case the author Frans Sturkenboom, himself a former architect, takes us with him into the world of modern architecture. His thesis is that the central focus of architecture today is no longer the space in and around a building but the perception of surfaces. He places this in the art-historical perspective of mannerism, a style of the late Renaissance which, in architecture more than anywhere else, is a portrayal of dynamic (for example in the form of texture or transitions). The elaboration of this idea will be found literally on every surface in the book: Curious Matter for the cover stock, with its almost concrete-like feel; the page layout; the baroque folios, and even the EAN – here, contrarily, placed on the front cover – all contribute to the theme of the book.
The typography of the main matter is most attractive and the balance between text and image is very good. The many smaller illustrations have been placed in the inner margin – not a problem, as the book lies open well. At the same time these design choices fit in seamlessly with the book’s theme.
Curiously enough, we almost overlooked this modest book. What a missed chance that would have been.