edited by Stanley Abercrombie -- Interior Design, 8/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
Room 606: The SAS House and the Work of Arne Jacobsen
By Michael Sheridan
New York: Phaidon Press, $70
272 pages, 320 illustrations (120 color)
Although the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen is still in use today, most of Arne Jacobsen's finishes and furnishings have vanished. Only one guest room, 606, remains as the architect intended. With original sketches, original black-and-white photos by Aage Strüwing, and new color photography by Paul Warchol, this book creates a remarkably complete record of what the hotel looked like in 1960.
International Design Yearbook 18
Edited by Karim Rashid
New York: Abbeville Press, $85
240 pages, 200 color illustrations
Abbeville's valuable series of annual compilations of domestic product design debuted in 1985 with a volume edited by Robert A.M. Stern. To date, editors have grouped information by usage (furniture, lighting) or material (wood, textiles). Karim Rashid has instead opted for divisions reflecting the "global 'culturally unidentifiable' typology or morphology of the 2000's." And he invented titles for each: Futuretro, Nukitsch, Phenomena, Organic, Embellishment, Multiplicity, Minimum, and Techno. As no one could possibly guess the contents or boundaries of most of these groupings, a reader looking for specific design types is rendered clueless.
The necessity of leafing through every spread, however, brings ample opportunity for discoveries. My own include a tubular-metal and rattan armchair by Mario Cananzi (in Futuretro), lamps of translucent colored polypropylene by Juan Benavente Valero (Nukitsch), a ceramic toilet by Stefano Giovannoni (Organic), Paolo Ulian's prototype for a meter-long chocolate bar scored into centimeter bites (Phenomena), and Ichiro Iwasaki's remote control (Techno).
Interior Graphic Standards
Edited by Maryrose McGowan and Kelsey Kruse
Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, $200
710 pages, 3,000 illustrations (100 color)
Architectural Graphic Standards first came out 70 years, 10 editions, and 1 million copies ago. Now the same publisher—in partnership with the AIA and the Rhode Island School of Design—hopes to provide an equally indispensable reference for interiors.
Interior Graphic Standards editor in chief Maryrose McGowan teaches interior architecture at RISD; graphics editor Kelsey Kruse is an associate architect at George Vaeth Associates. The book's nine-person advisory board featured representation from Gensler; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; and Richard Meier & Partners, Architects. Two hundred other contributors also weighed in.
The book's three divisions focus on general design criteria, finish-material selection and construction-assembly detailing, and building-typology design criteria. Topics include accessibility, acoustics, lighting, hardware, and textiles. Although McGowan's preface claims the book to be the "first comprehensive source of design data and project management information for all aspects of commercial interiors practice," this claim seems disingenuous, ignoring Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning by Joseph De Chiara, Julius Panero, and Martin Zelnick.
Interior costs more than Time-Saver—which, at $150, is more than 50 percent larger. However, Time-Saver is all black-and-white, while Interior's 100 color illustrations are well used for color theory and wood species. Interior's uniform presentation style and consistent typefaces make for clarity and ease of comprehension; Time-Saver's graphics appear to have been taken "as is" from a variety of sources.
Interior deals strictly with commercial interiors; Time-Saver has a residential section. The books are also organized differently. Interior focuses on common elements (doors, floors), with supplemental information on specific functions (office, retail). Time-Saver focuses on specific functions, with supplemental information on common elements. And while Interior concludes with a brief glossary, Time-Saver has none.
On the micro level, comparisons continue. Only Interior offers checklists for code compliance and project management. Only Time-Saver covers altars and maître d' stations. Interior addresses fire codes, Time-Saver fireplaces. Interior provides five pages of window treatments; Time-Saver provides 45, but many are devoted to swags and festoons of dubious interest. Billiards is addressed only by Interior, badminton only by Time-Saver. As for staircases, Time-Saver's 63 pages easily outnumber Interior's 14, but those 14 include details of the Foster and Partners stair at London's Royal Academy of Arts—a more striking design than any in Time-Saver.
Interior Graphic Standards is indeed an indispensable reference, just not the only one.
What They're Reading...
A principal of Tod Williams Billie Tsien & Associates and member of the Interior Design Hall of Fame
The Stones of the Abbey
By Fernand Pouillon
New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, $15 paperbound
This novel tells of the 12th-century construction of an abbey near the French town of Avignon, where Notre Dame had already been built and the Palace of the Popes was soon to come. "It shows that the creative search then was just as it is today," Williams says, "with difficult decisions at every turn—materials, people, land, and intent."