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Review - Book - Extensions

Not exactly an innovative book, says Barrie Evans, but it still contains a few surprises.

Extensions by Adam Mornement. Laurence King, 2007. 256pp. £25

This is formula publishing: an introduction plus international case studies on a loose theme; the whole less than the sum of its parts, albeit well produced. The ‘parts’ of Adam Mornement’s Extensions, however, can be interesting. All but the most pathological student of architectural magazines and websites will find some surprises in this collection of 39 upmarket case studies.
What gives the book some coherence is Mornement’s selectoral bias. He’s a glass-andsteel hardliner (though timber occasionally creeps into recent projects as cladding), and not into decoration. While these projects are described as extensions, they are almost always larger than the original building;
often ignoring it, and the context of the site too. The shock of the new is the aim – indeed there’s bound to be a ‘how did they get away with that?’ reaction to some of the projects, often said to be constrained by ‘strict planning regulations’ that we can only dream of enjoying in the UK.
The book’s brief introduction sets its sights primarily on the client, aiming to ‘outline the client requirements and the architect’s solution as well as major hurdles and challenges encountered during the design and build process’ – an ambition way beyond texts of 500 words. But there are floor plans and the photography is good. This book is worth a look.

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