ARO: Architecture Research Office

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Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Feb 28, 2003 - Architecture - 179 pages
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The process of investigation, analysis, and testing makes Architecture Research Office (ARO) as much a laboratory as an elegant design firm. Faced with the design of something as simple as a wall, ARO takes an approach completely different than that of most architects. What makes a wall? What is it made of? Need it be flat? Continuous? Impermeable? Tall? Might it be made of small pieces of paper that lock together? Or modular interconnecting plywood panels? This approach to making architecture, to shrinking the distance between thinking and building, is much evident in their work, which manages to be simultaneously thoughtful and sensual. ARO, the first monograph on the work of this award-winning firm, features work ranging from self-directed research (including their paper wall and modular wall projects), to exhibition design, to commercial interiors, to the popular Armed Services Recruiting Station in Times Square, to the stunning Colorado House in Telluride. All of these projects challenge design conventions, but still delight the senses with their unusual materials, careful detailing, and unexpected spatial discoveries. Extensive photography of the completed works is coupled with thorough documentation of the design process to illustrate the interdependence between ARO's rigorous design method and their innovative designs. Critical essays by Stan Allen, Sheila Kennedy, Philip Nobel, Guy Nordensen, and Sarah Whiting discuss various aspects of ARO's work.

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