Sergison Bates Architects, Von Ballmoos Krucker, Werner Neuwirth

Three Houses in Vienna | Drei HÁ¤user in Wien

In spite of the economic crisis and its massive impact on the construction industry, here we have an ‘old-fashioned’ architecture book, a beautifully produced volume that presents a number of recently completed projects in an insightful and aesthetically sensitive way. The panel had quite an argument about books of this kind: what was the value of such ‘neutral’ presentation, what was their agenda, and what was the added value of a book as a medium? Thanks to the various views held by individual panel members, this debate – which sometimes became quite heated when other entries were being considered, too – failed to arrive at an agreed conclusion or position.

Let us take a look at what we have here. A paperback in the Swiss style, with no linen strip and an olive-green cardboard cover, inside consisting of roughly one-third text and two-thirds images. The text is divided over two columns and printed in two colours, grey for the German version, black for the English. The picture section is super-cleanly laid out: coolly objective, highly aesthetic photographs devoid of any human presence (with two minimal exceptions) are followed by clear ground plans, cross sections and project information. 

In every way the book is immaculate, unerringly precise and consistent throughout, in the typography, the photos, the picture editing, the paper and technical execution. The panel were impressed by the exceptionally conscientious, aesthetic approach that the book exudes from its every fibre.

 

Edition: 2014
Language: German, English, translated by Thomas Skelton-Robinson
Publisher / commissioner: Park Books, Zurich (CH)
Designer: Studio Joost Grootens (Joost Grootens, Silke Koeck)
Lithographer: Marc Gijzen imaging and digital lithography, Voorburg
Printer: Lecturis, Eindhoven
Binder: Patist, Den Dolder
Dimensions: 241 x 299 x 8
Amount of pages: 96 p.
Number of copies: 1,250
Price: € 29
ISBN: 978 3 906027 53 1
Font and foundry: Plain (Optimo)
Binding style: sewn Swiss-style cut-flush binding, with glued-off spine and black thread
Material: 130gsm Lessebo Design Smooth white 1.2 (interior), 600gsm grey board, smooth on one side, the rough side on the outside, with blind debossing on front (cover)