Projects and Their Consequences

by Ottavia Brey

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How do landmarks interact with the landscapes within which they exist? This question, among others, seems to be guiding RUR Architecture founders Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto as they reflect back on 30 years of their firm’s work, taking into consideration the intersections of all of the disparate elements of their practice. The result is Projects and Their Consequences, a multi-genre examination of the relationship between architecture, art, and culture.

The book, a project which has been in the works since 2006, will be the first of three volumes. Reiser and Umemoto have chosen to chronologically present 15 key projects, including New York’s dynamic and spiraling New Museum, Pittsburgh’s colorfully whimsical Children’s Museum, and Vienna’s innovative University of Applied Arts, all organized around four thematic sections. Also included are a number of smaller-scale structures, such as the pavilion-style Sagaponack House.

Interspersed among these works are smaller “textual projects” - over 400 original creations, including collages, paintings, cartoons, essays, and interviews. Through their format and content, many of these narrative works soften the borders between art and architecture. While Reiser and Umemoto intend for each project to stand on its own, they have provided these supplementary multimedia materials in the hopes of providing their readers with context and a variety of perspectives on their work.

Carefully curated and beautifully constructed, this large-format book is a must-have for architects and lovers of architecture alike.