From a survey on David Adjaye’s little-known early works to a photographic collection offering a blast of postwar British nostalgia – these are the books we devoured this year.
Féau & Cie: The Art of Wood Paneling – Boiseries from the 17th Century to Today
1875-founded Paris firm Féau & Cie is a purveyor of decorative period wood panelling, from doors, décor and panels to whole rooms. In its first-ever book, the atelier shows the transformative effects of panelling, or boiserie, on a room through 21 prestigious projects and opens the doors to its Aladdin’s cave of a showroom in Paris.
Photography: Robert Polidori
In Memory of: Designing Contemporary Memorials by Spencer Bailey
This book explores the design and architecture of memorials, along with the emotional aspect of memorialisation. Focusing on over 6o monuments built over the past 40 years, they commemorate tragic events while expressing ‘the importance of the power to overcome, survive and, even to forgive.’
New York City AIDS Memorial, NYC, USA. Studio AI Architects (2016). Photography: Edward Caruso
Designing Hollywood Houses: Movie Houses by Stephen Shadley & Patrick Pacheco
Stephen Shadley is the interior designer for Hollywood’s A-listers. This collection brings together some of his best projects in a range of décor styles, including Jennifer Aniston’s Bel Air manse. Actress Diane Keaton, a long-time client and friend of Shadley, describes his style in the foreword as cinematic and grounded in narrative and drama.
David Adjaye – Works: Houses, Pavilions, Installations, Buildings, 1995 to 2007 by Peter Allison
Thames & Hudson, £60
Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye is architecture’s man of the moment, having been awarded the RIBA Royal Gold Medal 2021. This monograph brings fresh analysis to his early, little documented works and celebrated gems such as the Lost House in London and the restoration of the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.
Pictured: Lost House
BIG. Formgiving: An Architectural Future History by Bjarke Ingels Group
In the latest instalment of its Taschen trilogy, Bjarke Ingels Group attempts to give form the future, addressing evolutionary trajectories and current trends in the context of design and architecture. The tome is illustrated with 100 built and unbuilt projects that, together, give shape to a sustainable and colourful future world.
I Never Met a Straight Line I didn’t Like by Mary Gaudin & Matthew Arnold
Straightlinebook, 80 NZD
In the 1960s, hundreds of homes were built in New Zealand’s Christchurch in a new regional mid-century modern aesthetic known as Christchurch Style. The story of the movement, which has been globally influential, is illustrated with rich photography of 12 time-capsule houses.
More Than Just a House: At Home with Collectors and Creators by Alex Eagle. Photography by Kate Martin, with text from Tish Wrigley
Creative director Alex Eagle teamed up with photographer Kate Martin and writer Tish Wrigley to create this vibrant coffee table book, which takes readers inside the homes of 30 of her closest friends around the world. From fashion designer Rosetta Getty’s closet to hotelier Marie-Louise Scio’s private domain, the book unravels the development of their personal styles and possessions offering anecdotes and interior inspiration.
Photography: Kate Martin
Urban Geometry by Andrés Gallardo Albajar,
Hoxton Mini Press, £16.95
Photographer Albajar provides an immersive visual tour of contemporary international architecture in this book, focussing on symmetry, line, shadow and form while capturing silhouettes, colourful juxtapositions and angular shapes across 20 global cities.
20/20 Twenty Great Houses of the 20th Century by John Pardey,
Lund Humphries, £29.95
Architect John Pardey tells the story behind 20 of the most influential houses built over the past century while providing fascinating biographies of their creators, including Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Alvar Aalto. Pardey examines their ground-breaking ideas and sensitivity to detailing and materials discovered in the making of these projects.
When We Were Young Memories of Growing Up in Britain, by the Anonymous Project, photography complied by Lee Shulman,
Hoxton Mini Press, £18.95
If you grew up between the mid 1940s and 1970s then these anonymous family snaps will feel strangely familiar. Depicting happy seaside trips, vintage cars and picnics, each photo, shot on colour slide film, transports the viewer into Britain’s past and into a world of possible stories and forgotten memories.
American Residential Architecture: Photographs of the Evolution of Indiana Houses by Craig Kuhner and Alan Ward,
Oro Publishers, $60
The US midwestern state of Indiana is an architecture hotspot, and its impressive architectural legacy is documented in this 288-page book. Shot on black and white film, it features 90 houses that are representative of America’s finest residential architecture, from 19th-century Federal-style to Prairie and late modernism in the 20th century.