Based in Dublin, Cork and London, O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects are revered for their work with urban design, public and private housing, and key educational and cultural buildings in Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK. In London they are best known for two major projects: the Photographers' Gallery and the London School of Economics Saw Swee Hock Student Centre. Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey, who both taught at University College Dublin and lecture internationally, constantly look at the way in which different geographical, social and political influences have shaped their iconic works and approach to architecture generally. This book, which is a second edition following the success of the first edition published in 2014, is divided into eight sections, each dealing with a different aspect of the practice's concerns: Studio, Courtyards, The World Outside, London Times, Subtraction and Addition, Venice Excursions, Building Ground and Cat's Cradles. Somewhere between a monograph and a memoir, a studio portfolio and a personal scrapbook, this book describes some of the motivating ideas behind the architects' iconic designs. Nine short essays, alternately written by Sheila O'Donnell and John Tuomey, set the theoretical background for thirteen projects carried out between 1999-2014. Illustrations range from early stage concept sketches to specific photography that has been especially commissioned for the book, to evocatively capture the essence of O'Donnell and Tuomey's buildings.
The architecture of Sheila and John exudes the scent of the Finnish master architect (Alvar Aalto) in a new inspired way! Their buildings breathe new life into the sites where they are located, generating a new feeling for landscape, street, fragment of a city, or an old construction. ~Elias Torres, Martinez Lapeña Torres
They [O' Donnell and Tuomey] speak in a timeless architectural language that makes us feel instinctively connected to our roots, to history and to the larger phenomenon of being.[They create] vital architecture that clearly carries the rich weight of history but always in a manner that is novel, interpreting the past while adding new layers of meaning. ~Lene Tranberg, Lundgaard & Tranberg
The appearance of a second edition of this marvelous book a few years after its first publication is hardly surprising. The questions it asks and the replies it gives resonate with primary cultural concerns of this historical moment, as well as architecture itself ~David Leatherbarrow, University of Penn.
In today’s architectural climate of uniform style, Sheila and John’s work is independent and refreshing, it inspires and amplifies the value original architecture can bring to society. ~Peter Stutchbury, Australian architect
The book is a lovely thing. It is hard-backed, weighty, serious, with quality paper and print, well-set text, and carefully chosen fonts [...] The book consciously tries to capture and reflect the personality and preoccupations of the practice. It does so pretty well.