Very good. English Text. Milano, 2007; paperback, pp. 224, b/w and col. ill., cm 17x24. The Milan architecture firm West Office, which specializes in commercial, residential and institutional projects, with a special emphasis on functional workplaces, was founded in 1999 by the New York architect Conrad-Bercah, and it has been on the international radar ever since. The firm's stated goal is to extract value from global society by focusing on "what seems to be gradually vanishing from daily life--namely, cultural differences." In this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, yet still functional first monograph, projects are divided into two Western demographic regions: the North-Atlantic Protestant Area (NaPA) and the Mediterranean Catholic Area (MeCA). Conrad-Bercah is intimate with both; he was schooled at Harvard and he trained in New York with I.M. Pei and Henry Cobb and in Milan with Aldo Rossi and Ignazio Gardella. In this engagingly designed book, projects from both sides of the Atlantic are represented with drawings and explanatory texts demonstrating how West Office adds cultural specificity to the global heterogeneity of contemporary architecture.
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