More than any of their contemporaries, Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are challenging the boundaries between architecture and art. Natural History explores that challenge, examining how the work of this formidable pair has drawn upon the art of both past and present, and brought architecture into dialogue with the art of our time. Echoing an encyclopedia, this publication reflects the natural history museum structure of the exhibition which it accompanies, organized by the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Models and projects by Herzog & de Meuron, as well as by other artists, are structured around six thematic portfolios that suggest an evolutionary history of the architects" work: Appropriation & Reconstruction, Transformation & Alienation, Stacking & Compression, Imprints & Moulds, Interlocking Spaces, and Beauty & Atmosphere. Each section is introduced with a statement from Herzog, and more than 20 artists, scholars, and architects have contributed essays, including Carrie Asman, Georges Didi-Huberman, Kurt W. Forster, Boris Groys, Ulrike Meyer Stump, Peggy Phelan, Thomas Ruff, Rebecca Schneider, Adolf Max Vogt, and Jeff Wall.
A building is a building. It cannot be read like a book; it doesn"t have any credits, subtitles or labels like pictures in a gallery. In that sense, we are absolutely anti-representational. The strength of our buildings is the immediate, visceral impact they have on a visitor. --Jacques Herzog
Edited by Philip Ursprung. Contributions by Fernando Romero, Carrie Asman, Boris Groys, Gernot Bohme, Jeff Wall, Thomas Ruff, Alfred Richterich, Adolph Max Vogt, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Reinhold Hohl, Petros Koumoutsakos, Albert Lutz, Christian Muoeix, Hurzeler, Catherine, Rebecca Schneider and Remy Zaugg. Foreword by Phyllis Lambert. Introduction by Kurt W. Forster.
Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron have had nearly parallel careers. They were born in 1950, in Basel, Switzerland, attended the same schools, and formed a partnership in 1978. Recipients of the 2001 Pritzker Architecture Prize, their highest profile project to date is the Tate Modern, for which they transformed the giant Bankside power station in London into a suite of new galleries. They are currently at work on an extension to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the New de Young Museum in San Francisco.