Taking a slightly different course is Bridging Art & Science, a monograph on Wilkinson Eyre Architects published by Booth-Clibborn Editions and designed by design group Big Corporate Disco. BCD has given the book a few elegant touches. It starts with a sequence of photographs introducing you to the architect’s attitudes to materials and detailing, then some illustrated essays by the architects that read like lectures: very direct and rich, and then some above average project descriptions with nothing extraneous, lots of details and asides and sketches created with the express purpose of explaining the structure.
Two terrible design clichÃ©s in this area are blueprints and tracing paper. There is always a moment when designers discussing how to do an architecture book ask, ‘Hey, what about tracing paper?’
Usually it is put to one side, but in this book it has survived, and in a particularly frivolous way: in a section at the back of the book there are pencil sketches, often out of scale, seemingly done by different hands, unannotated and unexplained. If the guys at Wilkinson Eyre drew like Sir Norman Foster, whose simple drawings instantly reveal each project to the uninitiated, this would be understandable, but they don’t.
Bridging Art & Science, by Chris Wilkinson and Jim Eyre is published by Booth Clibborn and priced at £40