Gesture and Response

$60.00

The work of Kohn Pedersen Fox is international in scope, collaborative in design, and a product of individual voices focused on a single objective—making an architecture, of our time, which creates strong bonds with the the specific place it occupies…

 

ISBN 978-1-943532-30-8
Binding Hard Bound
Pages 616pp
Publication date Spring 2021
Size 7.7” x 10.6” Portrait
World rights Available

SKU: 90787 Categories: , , , ,

Description

“The work of Kohn Pedersen Fox is international in scope, collaborative in design, and a product of individual voices focused on a single objective”

Additional information

ISBN

978-1-943532-30-8

Binding

Hard Bound

Pages

616pp

Publication date

Spring 2021

Size

7.7” x 10.6” Portrait

World rights

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Details

Overview

The work of Kohn Pedersen Fox is international in scope, collaborative in design, and a product of individual voices focused on a single objective—making an architecture, of our time, which creates strong bonds with the the specific place it occupies.

While William Pedersen founded the firm, with partners Gene Kohn and Shelley Fox, he never aspired to be a “director of design.” They had the components—with Gene’s entrepreneurial drive, Shelley’s management, and Bill’s design leadership—to be a large firm. “Directing” the work of a large firm was not Bill’s desire; instead he wanted to focus on a body of work which he could call his own. The example that work set would inspire others, and it did. Now there are several voices leading their design—all of them rose to their position within the office.

The purpose of this book is to define the work of one of the voices—Bill Pedersen’s. Pedersen has worked with many different designers, in close collaboration, throughout his career, though his work speaks with a singular voice. Here it is represented chronologically and concludes with the latest phase—furniture. Working from the largest scale to the smallest has always been a preoccupation of those who lead design in KPF. Many of Pedersen’s architectural heroes designed chairs, and he strives to follow in their footsteps.

 

“Tall buildings have anthropomorphic characteristics that encourage me to think of them as human participants in the city,” writes William Pedersen, FAIA, in the introduction to Gesture and Response.  Within this new book of 25 of Pedersen’s designs, the reader will immediately see how buildings and cities continually reach out and react to each other.

Pedersen—co-founder with A. Eugene Kohn, FAIA, and Sheldon Fox, FAIA, of KPF Architects—selected these designs as emblematic of his architectural aspirations, contextual concerns, and material manifestations.  He shows how monumental buildings made from hard glass, stone, and steel can exist at a gentle human scale.

From 333 Wacker Drive (1982) in Chicago to Hudson Yards (2019) in New York, the buildings span 45 years of the architect’s career, as KPF’s influence and global footprint grew.  After taking the reader on a chronological tour of 24 towering corporate headquarters, contextual educational facilities, and community-oriented government projects, Pedersen takes us home—literally—to examine his own house on Shelter Island that was 20 years in the making.

Introducing full-bleed project photographs are buff-colored pages with plans and drawings, along with the story Pedersen weaves about each project.  The architect’s text is incisive and illuminating, as elegant as his buildings, devoid of architectural jargon and theoretical rationalization.  Through the easy prose, he proves that KPF’s work “was not the product of a polemical manifesto.”

As a final grace note, Pedersen ends the book with a section on the furniture he’s been creating for the past seven years.  “The surprise is that my second career as a furniture designer explains my first,” he notes.  “I discovered that my chairs, done primarily by myself, and my architecture, created in collaboration with many others, have a lot in common.”

“Gesture” can sometimes have a negative connotation in architecture when it is done for its own sake.  Pedersen never does that—expressive details are tied to programmatic requirements and contextual imperatives.  The buildings themselves gesture to their surroundings as “a fundamental strategy for bringing about connections in the modern city.”

Similarly to how Louis Sullivan, FAIA, expressed the visceral beginnings of his architecture in 1924’s The Autobiography of an Idea, Pedersen relays the thought and emotion in his reactions to client, site, program, environment, and myriad other needs and restraints involved in any built structure.  Layered upon this are visual metaphors and dynamic interactions that fuel his creative expression.  More than a monograph, as Pedersen himself states, Gesture and Response is indeed his “design autobiography.”

Authors

William Pedersen, FAIA, FAAR, is the founding design partner of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), which he started with A. Eugene Kohn, FAIA, RIBA, and Sheldon Fox, FAIA, in 1976.  Fourteen years later, KPF became the youngest firm to receive the National AIA Firm Award for design excellence.  Personal honors include Rome Prize in Architecture, Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize from the American Academy and National Institute of Arts and Letters, University of Minnesota’s Alumni Achievement Award, Lynn S. Beedle Lifetime Achievement Award from Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), and Medal of Honor from AIA New York.  He is on the Board of the University of Minnesota Foundation and has been a visiting professor at Rhode Island School of Design, Columbia University, and Harvard University.  He has held the Eero Saarinen Chair at Yale University and was honored as the Herbert S. Greenward Distinguished Professor in Architecture at University of Illinois at Chicago.  He has a Bachelor of Architecture from University of Minnesota College of Design, St. Paul, and a Masters of Architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

Additional Info

ISBN 978-1-943532-30-8
Binding Hard Bound
Pages 616pp
Publication date Spring 2021
Size 7.7” x 10.6” Portrait
World rights Available

Gesture and Response

“The work of Kohn Pedersen Fox is international in scope, collaborative in design, and a product of individual voices focused on a single objective”

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© 2022 ORO Editions. All Rights Reserved. Designed by Organ Creative

© 2021 ORO Editions.
All Rights Reserved. Designed by Organ Creative

© 2021 ORO Editions. All Rights Reserved. Designed by Organ Creative

© 2021 ORO Editions. All Rights Reserved. Designed by Organ Creative

© 2021 ORO Editions. All Rights Reserved. Designed by Organ Creative

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