Black: Architecture in Monochrome

A ground-breaking look at the beauty and drama of black architecture over 1000 years

Black: Architecture in Monochrome is a fascinating survey of the intensity, strength and mystique of the colour black in the constructed world. Holding a strong cultural and historical significance – whether signalling transgression or devotion, penury or luxury, introspection or extroversion – black is at the centre of both personal and social experience, making this thought provoking compendium exciting and relevant.

Black: Architecture in Monochrome features over 150 diverse structures from 1000 years of architecture, comprising significant historical landmarks that have shaped the record of building in black. From the eleventh-century, tar-treated building on the Faroe Islands; to the twelfth-century Fantoft Stave Church blacked with age; from Modernism’s stark structures enclosed in dark glass to the black concrete of the angular contemporary theatre in Tokyo, the historical influences of black can be seen in a multitude of different materials and architectural styles from around the world.

This gorgeous tome showcases works by some of the most notable architects of the twentieth century including Philip Johnson, Eero Saarinen and Mies van der Rohe, alongside celebrated contemporary architects such as David Adjaye, Jean Nouvel, Peter Marino and Steven Holl. Black: Architecture in Monochrome brings together a spectacular assortment of vernacular and historic structures to show the diversity and beauty of black architecture like rural barns, Georgian townhouses, Icelandic chapels, and traditional Portuguese stone houses.

This compelling survey thoughtfully pairs together striking buildings to complement or contrast their aesthetic appeal. Each entry is illustrated with stunning photography and is accompanied by an engaging text that explores the role of black in the building’s design. Black: Architecture in Monochrome is interspersed with classic song lyrics and insightful quotes about the monochromatic colour – from famous names like Johnny Cash, J.M.W Turner, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keefe, Yohji Yamamoto and Aristotle – which add depth and context while highlighting the pervasive admiration of black throughout popular culture.

Discover the timeless elegance of this intense colour through this visually rich compendium of striking architecture. A visual ode to the colour black and comprehensive in range and time, Black: Architecture in Monochrome will provide countless inspiration for architects and architourists alike.

Black Architecure is by Phaidon Editors with an introduction by Stella Paul and will be published by Phaidon on 2 October 2017.

Hardback £29.95
173 colour illustrations
224 pages
290 x 250 mm
ISBN: 978 071487 4722