CENTER 12/13: The Good Building/Pressing Style


The twelfth and thirteenth installments of the CENTER series were published as a single volume, with the two works bound together on inverted pages.


In an era when architecture has at times become overly image-conscious and egocentric, when permanence is often forsaken for economic short-term gain, when responsibility primarily means on time and on budget, and haste is seen as more virtuous than craft and care, this collection is put forth optimistically. It is intended to bring to the foreground a framework for discussing the qualities that engender architecture with meaning and produce good buildings as consequence.


Architects have long had a love/hate relationship with style. In our efforts to design buildings with a sense of integrity and to produce timeless artifacts, concerns of stylishness are often pushed aside. Perhaps our ambiguous feelings in this regard come as a consequence of the modernist reaction against art and architectural history typically taught as a succession of period types.

ISBN: 0-93451-04-7


CENTER 12: The Good Building

Introduction, by Kevin Alter
Can You Tell Me What is Good Building?, by Christopher Alexander
Undisclosed, by Chris Macdonald
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, by Henry Smith-Miller
Architecture - A Social Art, by Samuel Mockbee
Practice of the Everyday, by Rob Wellington Quigley
Good Building, by Michael Rotondi
Constructing the Self and Awakening Desire, by Aaron Betsky
And Now It is Time for Something Completely Different, by John Blatteau
Upside House: Speculative House Design for, by Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis
Modern Life, by Kevin Alter
Making Memory, by William Bruder
Part One: Showtime at the Apothic: Fashioning the Boutique Hotel, by Ira Smith
The Good Building National Photography Competition

CENTER 13: Pressing Style

Introduction, by Kevin Alter
After Thirty Years of Silence, by Morris Lapidus
Inspiration From Unlikely Sources, by Todd Oldham
Studio Sofield, by William Sofield
Building Style, by Stanley Marcus
Perpetual Motion, by Herbert Enns
A Moment in Time, by Tom Ford
A Room of One's Own, by Joseph Holtzman
Part Two: Midnight at the Oasis: What Happens When Good Architecture Becomes Fashionable, by Ira Smith


Kevin Alter


Christine Wong
Tim Walker

Center 12: The Good Building
"Center 13: Pressing Style" on a maroon book cover with a maroon-toned image of a woman's head and chest from the nose down.

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2004 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finalist in Architecture
2004 Graphic Design USA American Graphic Design Award