Un Studio: Unfold

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NAi, 2002 - Architecture - 150 pages
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An hour by train north of Rotterdam, Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos preside over the 45-person UN Studio they founded in 1998. To the tune of one partner's proclamation that "the box is dead," they have spent the intervening years conducting a network of researchers and specialists in architecture, urban development, and infrastructure, whose goal it is to create perceptive projects which seamlessly weld together brief, construction, infrastructure, circulation, form, and space. Their Erasmus Bridge, a sinuous arc of roadway suspended from a single soaring pylon, la Star Wars, has become the icon of a new Rotterdam. Their science center for Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, holds itself erect with a Euclidean grid of beams and columns, a structure van Berkel describes as "a sock being pulled back on itself." Following the success of their three-volume publication Move, and in search of new perspectives and concepts, UN Studio presents UNFOLd. Complete with documentation of the firm's most recent projects, UNFOLd takes a critical look at a welter of hitherto unpublished designs, including the restructuring of the station area in Arnhem, the generating station in Innsbrck, the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance laboratory in Utrecht, and the competition-winning design for the Ponte Parodi in Genoa. Draped with an ultra-personal layer, UNFOLd offers an immersion in the firm's design process through texts by Bos, and experiments in association and out-of-the-rut architectural photography.

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About the author (2002)

Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos established Van Berkel & Bos in 1988, which later became UN Studio in 1998. Based in Amsterdam, the firm has designed and built projects around the world. Van Berkel is dean of the postgraduate program of architecture at the Stadel Schule in Frankfurt, Germany. Bos is a visiting lecturer at Princeton University.

Aaron Betsky has been Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam since 2001. Previously, he was Curator of Architecture, Design and Digital Projects at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He is the author of a dozen books, including "Landscrapers" published in 2002 and "Three California Houses", 2003.

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