As the year draws to a close, we look back on some of our best-loved stories from 2018, as well as two from the archive
Flores & Prats stood out in Venice this year, with their chapel at the pavilion of the Holy See, and in the Arsenale installation featuring their restoration of the Sala Beckett theatre. The practice put their stamp on the Barcelona theature without excising its ghosts – you can read Douglas Murphy’s review of the building here, as featured in the AR December 2017/January 2018 issue on New Into Old.
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Despite all the controversy of the last year, with pivoting bookshelves and vanishing doors, Amin Taha + Groupwork’s 15 Clerkenwell Close creates winsome flexible spaces to live and work in an historic London neighbourhood. Douglas Murphy appraised the project for our double summer issue (July/August 2018) on House + Furniture.
De Vylder Vinck Taillieu’s Caritas psychiatric centre in the Flemish village of Melle outside Ghent “brings the outside in”, according to Douglas Murphy, who profiled the project in the AR’s September issue on Belgium.
In 2018 readers have kept coming back to Raymund Ryan’s assesment of Peter Zumthor’s thermal baths at Vals which the AR first published in 1997, and has been online since 2015. Resonant with an elemental materiality and full of myriad therapeutic delights, they are conceived as a cavernous, labyrinthine haven devoted to sensual pleasure. What’s not to love?
This year our outraged writers enticed readers to pieces on the controversial topics that had prompted their indignation. From ‘Future generations of architects will laugh at the folly of façadism’ by the Gentle Author, via ‘Dutch architecture no longer shows social imagination’ by Mark Minkjan to Ugly Belgian Houses by Hannes Coudenys, the AR’s Outrage column went from strength to strength in 2018.
‘If at first you don’t succeed, cry, cry again’: Madelon Vriesendorp on being written out of history
In the year that Denise Scott Brown was awarded Soane Medal for contribution to architecture a profile of Women In Architecture Ada Louise Huxtable Prize winner, 2018, Madelon Vriesendorp proved popular with AR readers. You can buy the 2018 Women In Architecture issue of the AR here.
The AR’s very own history editor Tom Wilkinson reviewed the Venice Biennale this year noting that ‘while there were some interesting contributions, the main exhibition’s incoherence proves that brilliant architects do not necessarily make good curators’.
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Not many architecture books have defined a specific historical moment in the way Robert Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture has, and after he sadly passed away earlier this year our readers have kept coming back to Martino Stierli’s review for the AR from 2016. As this piece was commissioned on the fiftieth anniversary of his seminal book, it stands as an opportunity to look back at Venturi’s life, work, and influence, and consider how his legacy lives on.