Material Transfers: Metaphor, Craft, and Place in Contemporary ArchitectureFrancoise Bollack

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A challenging examination of the connections between traditional materials and forms and contemporary expression in architecture.

Material Transfers is a companion to Old Buildings, New Forms, published in 2013. Here author Francoise Bollack expands her investigation of the intersection between the old and new in architecture, exploring the use of traditional materials with contemporary forms and the corollary of contemporary materials applied to traditional forms and the blurring of the boundary between the two.

In Old Buildings New Forms, Bollack looked at the different ways contemporary expansions are made to historic buildings. With Material Transfers, she is challenging the basic tenet of modernism that declared independence from historical precedent and celebrated “originality” in form and materials and technology in execution. Here she is posing the question of whether referring to traditional forms and adapting traditional materials, in fact, empowers architects to pursue more radical experiments and achieve original solutions through these precedents.

Nineteen projects in the US, Europe, Japan, and New Zealand are examined. Among the featured architects are Kengo Kuma, the architect of the Tokyo Olympic stadium, MVRDV, a highly regarded Dutch firm, and Lacaton & Vassal of Paris.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 254 × 203 mm (10 × 8 in)
  • Pages: 248 pp
  • Illustrations: 150 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781580935432

Francoise Bollack is the principal of Francoise Bollack Architects, a firm that specializes in preservation and reinvention of historic structures, and a faculty member at the Columbia University School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.