Silver MedalCzech Republic

Martin Hejl et. al.
2 × 100 mil. m2, Prague

Designer: Mikuláš Macháček, Linda Dostálková
Print: Indigo Print, Prague
ISBN: 978-80-260-6127-4

There is a self-mocking air to this documentation of apartment construction and housing estates in Czechoslovakia. The illustrations catch your eye first: some are sketched like cartoons, while others are images drawn vivaciously with a tusche brush. Their pedagogical impetus differs considerably from the self-attributed greatness that is frequently emanated by architects and architecture.

The typography pursues an intensely contrasting black & white. A 70s-style serif typeface was chosen – an extraordinary preference in an architectural context. Two fonts and two font sizes – with particularly narrow typesetting in the extra-bold font, huge indents, left justification, and chapter headings almost in display size: these clear devices are sufficient to fill the pages of text with a tectonic, didactic structure and breathe a liveliness into them that encourages further reading.

The colour photos are printed entirely fearlessly on rough, yellowed book paper – making it crystal clear that the key focus here is not on shiny, dazzling effects. These unpretentious and humorous design features are to be understood as an expression of self-distance, and at the same time they underline the seriousness of the social concerns presented in the architecture. The clear, compact quality creates a handbook with personal commentary and is displayed in situations ranging from interviews with architects through to the extensive chronology of figure ground plans.

It is not representation, but rather the character of the works that is important in this publication, which was the Czech and Slovak contribution to the Biennale 2014 in Venice.

Silver MedalNetherlands and Flanders

Jan Peter Wingender
Brick. An Exacting Material
Architectura & Natura, Amsterdam

Designer: Studio Joost Grootens (Joost Grootens, Dimitri Jeannottat, Silke Koeck, Hanae Shimizu, Julie da Silva)
Print: robstolk®
Bookbinding: Boekbinderij Van Waarden, Zaandam
ISBN: 978-94-6140-027-7

The structured cover itself reflects the genre: it is a handbook on the contemporary usage of brick in Dutch architecture.

The widely varying chapters and sections are each given their own visual logic. The book’s structure is actually held together by an elaborate framework for type and images, which enables whatever is necessary. The basic double page in single-column full justification and vibrant Antiqua appears traditional yet surprises with asymmetrical left and right sides. The columns exceed the customary dimensions for very large indents. This misalignment creates space on the right of the column which can also be used for pictures; above all, it allows width dimensions for the type area in two-column texts that allow continued full justification with the same type size as the basic text – without risking gaps. The spaces are also suitable for text and image tables or for complex captions.

All headings are printed in spaced capital letters; only the chapter headers are placed in the centre of the page: a respectful bow to the history behind the book’s material. And the very rough natural paper is naturally no obstacle to four-colour photos.

An ambitious subject, an ambitious design, an ambitious book.