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The Nature of Buildings

Benjamin Halpern, Randy Gragg, John Hoke, Jeff Kovel, Mauricio Villarreal, Mimi Zeiger


A major overview of Skylab’s built works, from show-stopping residences to high-profile cultural projects, presented via a covetable book design that takes its inspiration from an album or LP

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Skylab: The Nature of Buildings is the first monograph of the Portland, Oregon-based architecture and design studio. Founded by Jeff Kovel in 1999, Skylab has emerged as a leading creative force in the Pacific Northwest and North America. At the vanguard of innovative and sustainable design, the practice is known for a range of spectacular residences designed for leading creatives, as well as distinctive music venues, resorts, and other high-profile projects, including the N M Bodecker Foundation, Nike’s Serena Williams Building, and the Columbia Building. Presenting more than two decades of work, the story of Skylab is told by several influential contributors through reflective essays, interviews, conversations and anecdotes, as well as extensive project photography and illustrations that detail the firm’s design process.

A uniquely crafted object, the book’s design is based on the concept of a double vinyl album, with four 'sides' (A, B, C, D), ten projects 'tracks', inside front- and back-cover gatefolds, and nine project 'interlude' foldout posters in the book.

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'This cleverly conceived book highlights some of the most impressive work out of the Skylab studio since its founding by Jeff Kovel in 1999... Like any greatest-hits compilation, it focuses on the creative philosophy of the firm, and its evolution over time... Readers will appreciate the creativity and intentional design throughout... From the lime-green font to the foldout posters, this book does not shy from bold decisions... Fans of architecture and design will revel in the images and the multiple interviews and descriptions behind such projects as the Serena Williams Building on Nike's campus or the Columbia Building in Portland'
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Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 25.0 x 25.0 cm

Extent: 304 pp

Illustrations: 480

Publication date: 27 July 2023

ISBN: 9780500025406

About the Author

Established two decades ago in Portland, Oregon, Skylab are a band of makers – architects, designers, creators and entrepreneurs working together across a wide range of landscapes and locations. Jeff Kovel is the founder and design principle of Skylab Architecture Studio. He has been a leading creative force in the dramatic evolution of Portland over the last twenty years and his work can be found in wildly different contexts, spanning residential, commercial, civic, retail, prefab, museum exhibitions and music and sports venues. Benjamin Halpern is an Associate at Skylab.