I think that all architecture comes from what went before. And how carefully one hews to precedent or how many liberties one takes, in my view, is part of a larger set of judgments as to what is, or could be called, “appropriate.” Appropriate from every point of view, especially from the site, the cultural expectations of a community and of the specific client.
—Robert A. M. Stern
Central to the work of Robert A. M. Stern is a commitment to an architecture that reinterprets the past to serve contemporary life. This monograph, the fifth volume since Stern opened his practice in 1969, explores the application of this principle to a wide range of building types, including libraries, university buildings, cultural centers, offices, towers, and private residences.
Focused on the years 2004 through 2009, an exceptionally productive period for Stern’s firm, this volume includes designs for the Miami Beach, Jacksonville, and Clearwater Public Libraries in Florida, the vast Zubiarte retail complex in Bilbao, Spain, two new residential colleges at Yale University, the widely acclaimed 15 Central Park West condominium in New York, Comcast, a crystalline addition to the Philadelphia skyline, and the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas.
In a conversation with renowned architecture critic Paul Goldberger, Stern discusses the principles that have guided the firm since its inception, focusing on the collaborative nature of the work and the importance of precedent and context. He also describes his own role as an educator, as dean of the architecture school at Yale University, and his deep interest in the history of architecture, first awakened during his student days at Yale.
About the Author
Robert A. M. Stern is the founding partner of Robert A. M. Stern Architects and dean of the Yale School of Architecture. He is the author of the monumental five-volume history of New York's architecture and urban development, concluding with "New York 2000," The author lives in New York.
PAUL GOLDBERGER began his career as the executive editor of "Architectural Digest". He then worked for twenty-five years at "The New York Times", where in 1984 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his architectural criticism. He also has been the architecture critic for "The New Yorker" since 1997 and in 2004 became Dean of the Parsons School of Design at the New School University in New York City. He is the author of "Why Architecture Matters" (Yale, 2009), "Up from Zero: Politics, Architecture, and the Rebuilding of New York" (Random House, 2004), "One the Rise: Architecture and Design in a Post-Modern Age" (Times Books, 1983), "The Skyscraper" (Knopf, 1982), and "The City Observed?New York: A Guide to the Architecture of Manhattan" (Random House, 1979), among others.
"Stern ably tells his stories, as do the spectacular photographs and drawings in this weighty tome. Unlike many neo-conservatives who genuflect at a monolithic altar of the past, Stern has a playfully pluralistic relationship to architectural history and contemporary design. And unlike the hippest of the hip, he has no need to dadaistically defy or defame the architectural canon . . . For that and more, this book warrants our appreciative attention."
—Norman Weinstein, ArchNewsNow