Book review: Media-ICT

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Architects can be very reluctant to disclose details of their buildings, particularly where they have designed a structure that is groundbreaking. This makes the Media-ICT book a positive revelation as it discusses in great detail the award winning Media-TIC building with its smart ETFE façade. The building is designed by Enric Ruiz Geli/Cloud 9.

The book details the rationale behind the building giving context in terms of the building concept, location and the development of the innovative façade. Construction drawings are included, along with reports on the prototypes, production and construction photographs. Visually, these are carefully balanced with sumptuous images by photographers such as Iwan Baan and Luis Ros. The text is comprised of a series of essays, some from public figures extolling the importance of the building and others from industry experts and critics.

Architect and academic Mark Burry writes an insightful essay on Cloud 9’s approach to technique, reminding the reader that designing a world class building does not have to cost the earth: “The budget for the Media-TIC was less than €1,200 per m2, which is similar to that of Barcelona’s commercial standard office blocks.” The book goes far beyond mere description of the building processes and material. Its most important message is how we can, and indeed should, innovate in a way that is economically and environmentally beneficial to all.

Marie O’Mahony is Professor of Advanced Textiles for Fashion + Design at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada, and visiting professor at University of the Arts, London.

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