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Diener & Diener by Phaidon

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Article by George Chronopoulos
Posted on June 27th, 2011
in Specials & Phaidon

Phaidon is pleased to present the only monograph on the internationally acclaimed Swiss architecture practice of Diener & Diener.  With a subtle, sophisticated style that combines intellectually rigorous thinking with an unpretentious, practical approach to design, Diener & Diener are world renowned for their singular take on Modernism.  Diener & Diener charts the firm’s development over more than 30 years, featuring over 40 key buildings selected for the book by Roger Diener, generously illustrated with 400 images.

From early apartment buildings in Switzerland to their most recent projects, currently under construction all over Europe, we witness how Diener & Diener’s design thinking continues to evolve.  Each project is described in detail, and illustrated with a wealth of never-before-published visual material taken from the firm’s archives.

Diener & Diener’s unswerving commitment to both the aesthetics and the ethics of Modernism, in defiance of the rise of postmodernism, has been winning them widespread acclaim ever since they first began to design their simple yet sophisticated residential complexes.  All of the practice’s best-known projects are represented here, including the shimmering glass Novartis Forum 3 in Basel, the copper-wrapped Migros shopping centre in Lucerne, and the subtle and harmonious blend of old and new in the Swiss Embassy in Berlin.  The book also explores more modest, but equally beautiful projects such as the 1998 Swiss Pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Fair. 

The monograph is enriched by the contributions of two prominent architectural historians, Martin Steinman and Joseph Abram, who shed light on the intellectual foundation of Diener & Diener’s work. These essays, along with Roger Diener’s own writings, illuminate the interplay in Diener & Diener’s work between architecture and the city itself, and offer an in-depth examination of the formal clarity and innovative details that make these buildings so special.

NOTES TO EDITORS
Roger Diener (b.1950) is the principle of Diener & Diener, the architecture firm established by his father, Marcus Diener, in 1948. He has taught at ETH Zurich, where he is a tenured professor for architecture and design, since 1999, and he has been a visiting professor at Harvard’s Graduate School for Design, the School of Architecture in Vienna, and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. He has won the Medaille d’Or from the Académie Français among many other awards.

Joseph Abram is a Swiss author and architectural historian who has written widely on modernist architecture. He is a professor at the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Nancy in France.

Martin Steinmann is an architect and architectural historian. He is a professor of architecture at ETH Zurich and has taught at ETH Lausanne and MIT in Cambridge. He has written extensively on Swiss modernist architecture and particularly on the Ticino region.

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