Highrise – Common Ground is a small, compact, nicely heavy book that is reminiscent of a small brick. It evokes a warm feeling that is confirmed by closer study. This is mainly down to the simplicity of the whole thing, which doubly comes into its own when the American dust jacket is removed. This is a folded sheet on which the sheets
bearing all 380 pages of the entire interior are reproduced at reduced size. It is a reference to the structure of the book inside. While the folios in black are placed in the side margin, the heads and tails of the pages carry, in grey, the numbers of the adjacent pages on the sheet. The message is clear: this is how a book works, and a good deal of thought went into this one.
The book contains theoretical texts about art in the public space of Amsterdam’s new Zuidasgebied (South Axis district). They are sparingly illustrated with images of contributions from artists. The building blocks for the interior consist mainly of the blocks of text, which are on pages with plenty of white space in the margins, making the large quantity of text easily legible. The slightly letterspaced Futura that has been used doesn’t detract from this in the least.
Images have been placed with care, sometimes small and sideways on the left-hand page, sometimes expansively on their own over a page and a half in a pictorial essay which, as the book progresses, becomes clearly identifiable as something special.
The only sign of luxury in this edifice is the red spot colour on the cover and the cold glue in the spine: the finishing touches to a highly successful book.