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CRITIC'S CHOICE

REVIEW

Where would you expect an art history professor at New York's Columbia University to live? An elegant brownstone on the Upper West Side? That wasn't the choice of Robin Middleton, previously a teacher at Cambridge University and the AA. Pictured above is the entrance to his New York residence - a former fish-packing plant in Tribeca which he shared with two friends until retiring in 2003. And the photo hardly hints at what you find inside.

All is revealed in a photo sequence of the interior by Perry Ogden: one of the contributors to Fragments: Architecture and the Unfinished: Essays Presented to Robin Middleton (Thames & Hudson, £38). The 21 essays all respond to Middleton's interest in the fragment; his essay for the catalogue of the Royal Academy's big Soane show in 1999 was 'Soane's Spaces and the Matter of Fragmentation'. But what a wonderfully diverse, unpredictable, if sometimes esoteric collection it turns out to be - perfect to dip into.

Eileen Harris finds 'discord and dissonance' in Robert Adam's interiors; Edward Wendt suggests affinities between Soane and Turner; while the 20th-century subjects include Neil Levine on Louis Kahn's 'architecture of the unfinished' and Kenneth Frampton on Carlo Scarpa. 'The palimpsest of the Brion Cemetery can only be understood as an unfolding progression, passing continually from part to part and joint to joint, ' writes Frampton.

This year is the centenary of Scarpa's birth, which has been marked by the opening of the Centro Carlo Scarpa in Treviso - a permanent exhibition and research centre giving access to some 30,000 drawings ( www. carloscarpa. it).

Another Scarpa archive is held by the Castelvecchio in Verona, and its contents can be accessed online ( www.archiviocarloscarpa. it). In addition, the Centro Internazionale Di Studi Di Architettura Andrea Palladio has a large photo archive featuring 46 of Scarpa's works, some in great detail ( www. cisapalladio. org). In Vicenza until 30 July there's an exhibition on the Brion Cemetery, but the major Scarpa show is at Brtnice in the Czech Republic until 29 October ( www. carloscarpacentenario. it).

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