Zoomorphic: New Animal Architecture
Laurence King Publishing, 2003
Have you noticed how the lingo of biology is beginning to infect (there, I’m doing it already) the cultural discourse? Businesses no longer brutally ‘re-engineer’, but now want to ‘adapt’ and ‘evolve’. Ah, bless. Leading creative figures from conceptual art to fashion take their cue from the biological sciences. Advertising is full of it - one model of Renault was recently marketed as ‘genetically engineered’!
And it’s happening in architecture, too. New possibilities in computer-aided design, materials technology and structural engineering plus a new social preoccupation with science are combining to produce an explosion of buildings whose form is inspired by animal biology. Able at last to break out from the constraints-both physical and ideological-that favoured rectilinear form, architects are going beyond the merely organic in shape to create a new biological baroque.
Zoomorphic provides the evidence for this astonishing phenomenon, featuring buildings that resemble birds and fishes, shrimps and whales, armadillos and anteaters, sea sponges and sea urchins. More importantly, it explains why this building bestiary is right for the times.
The book ties in with a spectacular exhibition held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2003 featuring the work of Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava, Greg Lynn, Kathryn Findlay and many original talents.