BOOKS BY LTL
Manual of Section
Along with plan and elevation, section is one of the essential representational techniques of architectural design; among architects and educators, debates about a project's section are common and often intense. Until now, however, there has been no framework to describe or evaluate it. Manual of Section fills this void.
Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis have developed seven categories of section, revealed in structures ranging from simple one-story buildings to complex structures featuring stacked forms, fantastical shapes, internal holes, inclines, sheared planes, nested forms, or combinations thereof. To illustrate these categories, the authors construct sixty-three intricately detailed cross-section perspective drawings of built projects—many of the most significant structures in international architecture from the last one hundred years—based on extensive archival research. Manual of Section also includes smart and accessible essays on the history and uses of section.
Excerpt from the introduction -
"This book presents the means for understanding the complex and important role that section plays in architectural design and practice. Discussion and debate of a particular building's section are common in the study and practice of architecture. Yet there is no shared framework for the determination or evaluation of section. What are the different types of section, and what do they do? How does one produce those sections? Why would one choose to use one configuration of section over another? This book explores these questions and provides a conceptual, material, and instrumental framework for understanding section as a means to create architecture.
Our work has been motivated by the belief that the architectural section is key to architectural innovation. Given the environmental and material challenges that frame architectural practice in the twenty-first century, the section provides a rich and underexplored opportunity for inventively reimagining the intersection of structural, thermal, and functional forces. Moreover, the section is the site where space, form, and material intersect with human experience, establishing most clearly the relationship of the body to the building as well as the interplay between architecture and its context."
For Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis, to "intensify" is to call attention to something either by altering it or the frame in which it is understood. This perspective underlies their approach and overall practice, and is changing the way architecture is made and experienced. Demonstrating their trademark combination of programmatic wit, material resourcefulness, and inventive construction techniques (as set forth in their first monograph Opportunistic Architecture), Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis: Intensities features twenty of the New York-based firm’s most recent built and speculative projects, ranging in scale from small installations to cultural institutions and urban planning proposals. The concept of intensity is tangible in each project’s commitment to engage with the social and material processes out of which it is formed – from the transformation of a historic theater and department store into a new cultural center for art in Austin’s Arthouse to the large-scale Water Proving Ground, which calls for a fusion of environmentally and socially conscious architecture in response to mounting global crises. Along with vivid photography of completed works, the firm’s signature drawings and process shots reveal the methods behind their projects, while the text illuminates their distinctive architectural philosophy.
Excerpt from the introduction -
"For LTL Architects, intensity aptly describes how we practice architecture and defines the goals for transformation through architecture, using the plural form of the word to reflect the multiple levels of intensity within the work. In the design process, we seek a focused form of the practice of architecture, where our office engages with relentless curiosity the pragmatics of a given project, pursuing design invention intensively through a non-linear yet logical sequence of speculations and probes. Within the materialization of the work, we create architecture that is saturated, multilayered, or otherwise demonstrative of an intensification of architecture itself. This is not to conflate intensity with pure excess or plenitude. Rather, we are equally interested in the set of relations that intensity implies, where selective depreciation can be equally effective in the creation of structures of intensity. In this manner, intensity can mean less and not just more."
What if the constraints and limitations of architecture became the catalyst for design invention? The award-winning young architecture firm Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis calls their answers to this question "opportunistic architecture." It is a design philosophy that transforms the typically restrictive conditions of architectural practice--small budgets, awkward spaces, strict zoning--into generators of architectural innovation. Often building portions themselves, the firm seeks to maximize each project's impact through material fabrication and experimental approaches to construction.
Opportunistic Architecture presents a diverse selection of built and speculative projects ranging from small installations to larger institutional buildings: a cafe with a wall made by the architects from 479 cast-plaster coffee cup lids; a residence hall for a small college that imaginatively engage the particulars of program, budget, client needs, and code; a house that morphs from a standard suburban elevation on the street front to a modern pavilion at the back. Also included is a selection of the firm's speculative proposals addressing issues of urbanism and suburbanism; all accompanied by thought-provoking texts, beautiful drawings, and photographs. An appendix distills their design philosophy into five tactics that outline an approach to architectural practice for students and professionals seeking to engage the world opportunistically and optimistically.
Excerpt from the introduction -
"By definition, the word opportunistic has negative connotations, referring to the seizing of any circumstances regardless of principles or ethics. In our selective use of this term, we invoke the active agency this word implies as it might pertain to architecture, while seeking to invert the dubious moral implications in service of an open, generative, and creative approach to work. We seek opportunistic overlaps between form, space, program, material, and budget, teasing design invention out of the rich potential latent within the restrictions and limits that frame architecture."
Pamphlet 21: Situation Normal
In this volume of the award-winning "Pamphlet Architecture" series, the authors examine common architectural forms (chairs, doors, and walls) and programs (a cinema, a health club, a skyscraper) in order to dissect and reconfigure them. In the process they create ten new projects that draw their power from an oscillation between the recognizable and the surreal. Cleverly undermining the conventions and norms of contemporary architectural design, the authors pose a direct challenge to the seemingly endless search for new styles, arguing instead that the greatest potential for architecture in the twenty-first century rests on an imaginative examination of what we take for granted. Designed by the authors, Situation Normal... weaves together text, photographs, and drawings. An introductory essay establishes the theoretical and historical position of the book.
Excerpt from the introduction -
"The ten projects presented in this pamphlet are predicated on the original understanding of, and exploit the potency of the unfamiliar that lurks behind the facade of familiarity. We propose tactics of architectural inquiry into the normal and the quotidian. By exacerbating the logic of the conventional, the presumably rational elicits the unexpectedly irrational latent in the everyday. This approach enables a speculative, implicitly critical way of thinking through the tacit assumptions of contemporary architecture.snafu"
ARTICLES BY LTL
Lewis, Paul. "Slow Section." Journal of Architectural Education, Volume 70, Issue 1. March, 2016. 42-43.
Lewis, David J. “The Projections of Zaha Hadid.” The Language of Architecture. Andrea Simitch and Val Warke. Beverly, Massachusetts: Rockport Publishers, 2014, 210-211.
Book also published in Mandarin, French, and Spanish.
Lewis, David J. “Stacked Suburbia.” Chicagoisms: The City as Catalyst for Architectural Speculation. Alexander Eisenschmidt, Jonathan Mekinda. Zurich: Park Books, 2013, 78.
Lewis, Paul. Contributor to “Terms and Conditions,” Evolutionary Infrastructures. Marion Weiss, Michael A. Manfredi. Ed. Justin Fowler. Harvard University Graduate School of Design, 2013, 122-193.
Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis. "Water Proving Ground, Liberty State Park, New Jersey." HKIA Journal, Issue 63 2012: 76-77.
Tsurumaki, Marc. "Edge Incubator: Notes on Practice and Pedagogy." Testing to Failure, Ed. Sarah M. Hirschman (Cambridge: SA+P Press, 2011), 396-399.
Tsurumaki, Marc. "Beyond?". Provisional: Emerging Modes of Practice USA, edited by Elite Kedan, Jonathan Dreyfous and Craig Mutter. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), 24-27.
"Multivalent Performance in the Work of Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis." AD. (London: Wiley, May/June 2008), 46-53.
"Mechanical Panoramas: Invernizzi's Il Girasole." AA files 55(Architectural Association, Summer 2007), 30.
"Forward: Decorative Dilemmas." Decoration. V.10 (New York: 306090 Inc., 2006), 9-10, 20-21.
"Invernizzi's Exquisite Corpse: The Villa Girasole: An Architecture of Surrationalism." Surrealism and Architecture, edited by Thomas Mical. (New York: Routledge, 2005), 156-67.
Tsurumaki, Marc. "From the Known to the Unknown." Volume 1 (2005).
"Upside House: Speculative House Design for Etekt.com" Center: A Journal for Architecture in America, #12 The Good Building (UTexas, 2003), 76-9.
"Suburbanism of Mass Customization" Cornell Journal of Architecture 7, (2003), 34-43.
"Tourbus Hotel" Work in Progress, #8, (RISD, Fall 2003), 10-15.
"New Suburbanism" OZ 25 Kansas State University, (2003), 34-9.
Lewis, David J. "Newness, Play, and Invention," Scapes 1, (Fall 2002).
"Tourbus Hotel," Big Brother: Architecture and Surveillance, (Athens, EMET, 2002), 54-61.
"New Suburbanism," Ai: Architecture and Ideas, (Spring 2001), 72-79.