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BOOK

REVIEW

Cooling Towers By Bernd and Hilla Becher. MIT Press, 2005. £48.95

Here is the latest instalment of the Bechers' 40-year quest to document the industrial landscape of Europe and America in structures that are often endangered or due for demolition. Impeccably produced, Cooling Towers follows the same format as the earlier volumes in the MIT/Schirmer Mosel series: an oeuvre complète that is an extraordinary catalogue of building types and the myriad small differences that distinguish one example from another. By now the Bechers' approach is familiar, but their books always have surprises in store, as you journey from the Ruhrgebiet to New Jersey via the brown-elds of Belgium. The sculptural form of these cooling towers, whether in reinforced concrete or wood, particularly lends itself to their 'objective' eye.

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