Building as Ornament
The ornament is back in architecture.
Michiel van Raaij
In Building as Ornament, Michiel van Raaij, in ten interviews, investigates how this new architecture emerged.
The ornament is back in architecture, but now on the scale of the building as a whole. One letter out of the alphabet, a pile of pebbles or a national emblem – the diversity of forms the new architecture can take seems infinite. In Building as Ornament, Michiel van Raaij, in ten interviews, investigates how this new architecture emerged in the late 1990s and how it developed at the start of the twenty-first century.
A new generation of architects sees the design of the upscaled ornament as an inextricable element of their practice. What are their motivations? How do they place their ideas in the tradition of their age-old profession? Michiel van Raaij argues that the design of the ornament, the iconography of the building, is bound by certain rules. A successful ornament represents a virtue and clarifies the function, status, construction, organization and context of the building. Michiel van Raaij is editor in chief of Architectenweb.nl and architecture magazine AWM.