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November 20 , 2008

The Architecture of Art Museums

A Decade of Design: 2000 - 2010


As a building type, art museums are unparalleled for the opportunities they provide for architectural investigation and experimentation. They are frequently key components of urban revitalization and often push the limits of building technology. Art museums are places of pleasure, education and contemplation. They are remarkable by their prominence and sheer quantity, and their lessons are useful for all architects and for all building types.

This book provides explicit and comprehensive coverage of the most important museums built in the first ten years of the 21st Century in the United States and Europe. By dissecting and analyzing each case, Ronnie Self allows the reader to get under the skin of each design and fully understand the process behind these remarkable buildings. Richly designed with full technical illustrations and sections the book includes the work of Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Peter Cook & Colin Fournier, Renzo Piano, Yoshi Taniguchi, Herzog & de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, SANAA, Daniel Libeskind, Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Steven Holl, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Bernard Tschumi, Sauerbruch Hutton, and Shigeru Ban & Jean de Gastines.

Together these diverse projects provide a catalogue of design solutions for the contemporary museum and a snapshot of current architectural thought and culture. One of few books on this subject written by an architect, Self’s analysis thoroughly and critically appraises each project from multiple aspects and crucially takes the reader from concept to building. This is an essential book for any professional engaged in designing a museum.

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