Mark #31 —

As befits a quality architecture publication, Mark has a particularly structured way of laying out its offer of short punchy items on the latest developments in international architecture, longer feature articles and a section that focuses on the essence of individual practitioners and practices.

With regard to this last category, issue 31 includes a fascinating feature on the Köbberling/Kaltwasser, the Berlin-based practice that approaches everything from temporary theatres to shops with a mania for recycled materials very much informed by environmentalism. Part of what makes the work of the duo so interesting is that it has a fairly low-tech approach; one part Mad Max post-apocalyptic foraging, one part the scheissegal Berlin aesthetic of make-do-and-mend. If only all supermarkets could take on the form of their shambolic structure colonising a parking lot.

Consumerism is also the theme of another of the issue’s many notable articles. Thomas Wortmann’s article on Ben van Berkel’s realisation of the new UNStudio department store in Cheonan, South Korea, however, reveals an architect who is less interested in an architecture that herds people into a shopping frenzy and more preoccupied with abstract principles like reclaiming public space within an increasingly privatised environment. Van Berkel’s Guggenheim-like arrangement of void space falling through all storeys into a central atrium is most certainly an unexpected oasis compared with the elegant but fundamentally opaque exterior.

And British readers in particular will be pleased to see that Gant Gibson’s somewhat unlikely ‘Letter from Weston-Super-Mare’ achieves an appropriate level of poetics necessary when considering UK seaside resorts that have seen better days.

    Mark #31 –
    228 Pages 0 Minutes of audio 0 Minutes of video
    In This Issue –
    AAT + Makoto Yokomizo Kobberling/Kaltwasser Department store in Cheonan by UNStudio House in Hiroshima by Suppose Design House in Pinar de Castellanos by Carlos Casanueva House in Leiria by Aires Mateus Renovations by EM2N, Stefan Forster and Meixner Schluter Wendt Letter from Weston-Super-Mare Publisher William Stout on books
    Creative Director –
    Mainstudio, Edwin van Gelder
    Editor In Chief –
    Robert Thiemann
    Art Director –
    Mainstudio, Edwin van Gelder
    Mark - Mark #31  Mark - Mark #31  Mark - Mark #31  Mark - Mark #31  Mark - Mark #31  Mark #31  Mark - Mark #31

Our Take —

Mark Magazine is the much-lauded international magazine on contemporary architecture that has added a particular vision and opinion to the international architecture perspective. Published out of the Netherlands, it’s no surprise that Mark – which has been going for a number of years now- reflects certain sensibilities for which Dutch contemporary architecture is internationally known: it’s stark, unapologetically contemporary and offers up architectural design solutions that often pay little attention to orthodoxy and convention. Perhaps this is best summed up in its own strap line of ‘another architecture’.

With a bold and crisp art direction, Mark is one of those magazines that certainly makes what the name promises. It is instantly attractive and easily navigated, despite actually managing to get a whole lot of information and imagery into each and every issue. And, whilst the contributions and commentary always include highly respected voices from the world of professional and academic architecture, one of the great successes of Mark is that it extends the Dutch understanding of architecture into the international arena, namely that architecture is a social phenomenon that engages all members of society. This manifests itself in the form of an editorial vision that intrinsically understands that contemporary architecture has many fans and an actively engaged audience beyond professional architects. Thus, it is an intelligent yet accessible title that has broad appeal and proves rewarding reading to almost anyone with an interest in architecture and the built environment.

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