A-Typical Plan

A-Typical Plan: Identity, flexibility and atmosphere in the office building
Jeannette Kuo, Park Books 202pp PB £35.10


Some books force a reappraisal of your way of thinking. I found that with Eric Jenkins’ 2007 book  ‘To Scale’, which presented urban plans as black and white drawings at exactly the same scale. In this way, Michelangelo’s Piazza Campidoglio can be understood on the same terms as, say, Niemeyer’s Brasilia Secretariat. Kuo’s book on rethinking the office form offers similar pleasures. In one  section  identical line drawings level Wright’s Larkin Building, the Hong Kong Bank and SANAA’s Rolex space. In another, a row of single photographs of the same building forces rereading of them all. And short, punchy essays address different architects’ and students analyses of the typology. The book shows how the curation of information can be as revelatory as the information itself.