From A to Z (minus Q, X, and Y)
André Tavares as Guest in the Depot of the Sitterwerk Art Library

October 31, 2017

In the depot of the Sitterwerk Art Library one finds a considerable number of books on architecture. Many of them come from the collections of Daniel Rohner and Felix Lehner, while others are donations or new acquisitions and increasingly represent contemporary positions.

To focus on this collection of books for a time, the architect André Tavares was invited in October to «test»this collection for a few days. He concentrated on monographs as an expression of a common form of self-presentation within the field of architecture and found positive surprises, the usual beauties and beasts, but naturally also some gaps. 

In conclusion, André Tavares presented his research: one book for each letter of the alphabet. Only Q, X, and Y were missing and were substituted by material from the collection of materials. At an event, Tavares presented his selection to the audience, based loosely on Richard Hamilton: «Just what is it that makes architecture monographs so different, so appealing?»And what not?

During the evening the question of what distinguishes iconic from boring monographs was discussed: What are the truly fantastic surprises? What touches us? What might one complain about? What are the books that represent an era? And what is timeless?

The Art Library’s collection of books on architecture was therefore truly examined for the first time and we are now familiar with some of their character traits, their strengths and weaknesses, both of which we find congenial.