Now available in paperback for the first time, Informal offers a comprehensive account of Cecil Balmond's innovative approach to architecture and engineering.
Balmond is one of the most important structural engineers working in architecture today. His structural thinking differs from that of other engineers in his field in its completely new conception of the engineer's contribution to architecture. The plasticity of architectural plans is enhanced through a decisive development of their structural designs. The borderline between structure and architecture thus becomes increasingly blurred. This process is explained in detail in Informal by reference to eight exemplary projects. Balmond elucidates the theoretical basis of his engineering solutions and his sketches transcend purely technical illustration--they are the key to his approach. Informal invites readers to rethink their understanding of the relationship between architecture and engineering.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 4.5" Height: 7.25" Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Release Date Apr 30, 2007
Publisher Prestel USA
ISBN 3791337769 ISBN13 9783791337760
Availability 0 units.
More About Cecil Balmond
CECIL BALMOND collaborates with architects such as Rem Koolhaas, Toyo Ito, and Daniel Libeskind and carries out his own research and design projects through Arup's Advanced Geometry Unit. He has received numerous awards for his work, and has taught at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and the Yale School of Architecture. He is currently Deputy Chairman of Ove Arup and Partners Limited and Cret Professor of Architecture at PennDesign at the University of Pennsylvania.
This is one of the most important book about informal architecture. It is about how idea becomes possible reality. Instead of accept the way it is, it playfully explores the other way of merging engineering & architecture.
dunno Jan 10, 2007
i bought it as a gift, based on information in the New York Times. don't know how it was received.
Wow ! Jun 16, 2006
Informal is an extraordinary work. I guess the reason why it's so shocking is that the content of the book is not like those static structural forms or solutions that we see in structural class. The case studies that Balmond brings to the table are very recent and genuine by star architects. I guess I was shocked by the fact that all these architects are not structurally oriented architects such as Foster/ Piano/ Calatrava/ Hopkins. Rather, they are theoretically approaching architects such as Koolhaas/ Liebskind; or, tectonically approaching architects such as Siza. I never thought projects by them had anything to do with structural or mathmatical innovation. Reading Informal, one can easily detect where the originality lie in each project. Sometimes it's in the irregularity of geometry or sometimes it's in mathmatical mystery. Balmond contends that they are all in mother nature. Unlike a formal structural engineering (e.g. Peter Rice) Balmond's originality comes from the informal networks. In High-tech, the ingenuity of structural entity was condensed into joinery. Informal networks is much more diverse and complex than that. It is against the conventional formal structural idea of hierarchy/center/symmetry. Balmond argues, formal approach is defining a problem in a "fixed" or "contained" manner; hence, leading to a same old idea of solution/ detailing. In Informal, Balmond redefines it in a more active/dynamic geometry, to bring about unexpected realities. Sometimes through structural innovation and sometimes through special surface treatment, Balmond promoted and realized the ideas of star architects. Overall, he has freed architecture from the "Cartesian Cage".
A behind the scenes of great architecture Nov 25, 2003
It was quite interesting to get a look at the somewhat unusual engineering process of Cecil Balmond.
And to discover his inputs behind some famous building, from Koolhas, Libeskind to Siza.
The book is quite easy to read and don`t think you are going to get a structural crash course from Balmond (I must admit, I was bit disapointed of not finding that) but you do get the kind of passionate and heartily discussions you would get if you had the chance of drinking down a few drinks with Balmond and ending up with his famous sketches he drew on the bar's napkins.
Expect a book with graphics and layout of Koolhas' SMLXL / Big fonts, dual-tone pictures.
GOod read, good essay, not for someone looking for glossy pictures
Balmond Student May 13, 2003
Cecil Balmond is passionate and inspirational. When working with him, you know there is something amazing happening. I had the pleasure of having him as a studio instructor at Yale University, School of Architecture. Cecil believes in the possibilities of architecture and engineering working together in ways that enhance and grace both fields. This book brings his insight and passions together. I highly recommend it to engineers and architects alike.