Book by Patkau Architects Princeton Architectural Press (hardcover, 192 pages)
It’s fair to say that Patkau Architects are makers at heart. Responsible for numerous award-winning projects, both intimate and grand in scale, the Vancouver creatives possess a genuine curiosity about the manipulation of materials, an appetite for getting their hands on a sheet of metal and testing how far it will bend before it breaks. This desire to experiment has led to a new branch of the practice: a research department referred to as Material Operations. Compiling 11 small-scale projects that reflect the ongoing results of this research, this book provides a behind-the-scenes look at the studio’s methods and work. Chock-full of process photos, detailed diagrams and drawings, the pages reveal a trial-and-error method of making, and how what is learned from one project is refined and applied to the next – including how the bent-plywood Winnipeg Skating Shelters evolved into Cocoons, a series of folded steel dressing rooms for Comme des Garçons in Tokyo. A more revealing study than most monographs, Material Operations is a compelling exploration of materiality and thinking that shines a light on how an established firm maintains a playful approach.