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A Grid and a Conversation


Diane Ghirardo Libri


A Grid and a Conversation presents a survey of work by the New York City based firm Morris Adjmi Architects, well known for the Samsung building along the High Line and the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This firm interprets the complex forces that shape our cities to create buildings that are contextual yet unmistakably contemporary. Deeply embedded in the firm's practice is a belief in the Renaissance tradition of architecture, wherein buildings are inextricable from their cultural situation and intellectual function. With a rapidly rising profile and projects under construction in major cities across America, Morris Adjmi Architects is building on its previous ten-year partnership with the Italian architect, designer and scholar Aldo Rossi, with an understanding that the built environment is constantly evolving as it both absorbs and reacts to greater historical narratives; and this rich inheritance unfolds through a distinctive formal language and creative use of materials inspired by its urban milieu. From unexpected twists on classic building types like the all-glass interpretation of a cast-iron facade or the ghostly metallic duplicate of a brick warehouse, to the literally twisting steel tower that embodies the collision of Manhattan's two primary street grids, this text traces the development and distillation of MA's unique practice through key projects completed during its first 20 years. A Grid and a Conversation is interlaced with reflections from writers, scholars, and collaborators, including Diane Ghirardo, Bill Higgins, and Jimmy Stamp. These essays and conversations offer an insight into the array of influences that shape the work of Morris Adjmi Architects.
 
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