John Andrews: Architect of Uncommon Sense
The Harvard Design Press is pleased to announce the publication John Andrews: Architect of Uncommon Sense by architectural historian Paul Walker. The book, a sweeping account of the work of Australian architect John Andrews (1933–2022), examines his most important buildings from a career that spanned nearly 30 years. Andrews was the architect of a remarkable series of buildings, from Scarborough College in Toronto’s outer suburbs in 1965 to the Intelsat Headquarters in Washington, DC, in 1988. In between came a bright and prolific career, with buildings completed across Canada, the United States, and Andrews’s native home of Australia. In addition to several chapters authored by Walker, the book features contributions from Mary Lou Lobsinger, Peter Scriver, Antony Moulis, Philip Goad, and Paolo Scrivano, along with nearly 100 new photographs of existing buildings designed by Andrews in North America and Australia from visual artist Noritaka Minami.
Though Andrews’s work garnered global praise at the peak of his career, which lasted from 1960 to 1990, Andrews faced waning fame as postmodern cultural transformations challenged modernist design values, and as wider social and economic changes led to a withdrawal of government-funded institutional commissions. Yet his body of work is a remarkable achievement that deserves to be better known. Throughout his career, as Andrews assumed wider public roles and took appointments that allowed him to shape architectural education, his influence on design culture extended far beyond his own personal portfolio as well.
John Andrews: Architect of Uncommon Sense presents the architect’s legacy as traversing both local and international scenes, and as exemplifying late-modern developments of architecture while offering both generational continuities and discontinuities with what came after. The internationalization of architecture during this period was an unexpectedly dispersed geographical phenomenon that followed more complex flows and localized progressions than earlier modernist ideas that travelled from center to periphery, metropole to outpost. The book reveals how Andrews negotiated this advent of postmodernism not by ignoring it, but by cultivating approaches that this new era foregrounded—identity, history, place—within the formal vocabularies of modernism.
John Andrews: Architect of Uncommon Sense is the first book to be published by Harvard Design Press at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD). An exhibition of the same name is currently on display at the GSD’s Druker Design Gallery through December 22, 2022, and features archival material, architectural plans, models, and drawings from the Frances Loeb Library and John Andrews archives. This year, the GSD is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gund Hall, which was completed in 1972 at the height of Andrews’s international career.
A book-publishing imprint based at Harvard GSD and distributed in collaboration with Harvard University Press, Harvard Design Press challenges, broadens, and advances the design disciplines and advocates for the value and power of design in making a more resilient, just, and beautiful world. In pursuit of new, original ideas on the research and practice of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and urban design, the Press seeks book proposals from researchers, practitioners, theorists, historians, and critics, among others.
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