cover image Helmut Jahn

Helmut Jahn

Rizzoli, Nory Miller. Rizzoli International Publications, $60 (263pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0561-7

Miller begins on a frivolous note, celebrating Jahn's apparent charisma, including his jet-set lifestyle and fine taste in clothing. But when she turns her attention to the Chicago architect's work, the text improves considerably. Miller emphasizes that Jahn has departed from mentor Mies van der Rohe's practice by accommodating designs to building codes as well as using easily available and cost-efficient materials. Jahn himself declares that he holds no rigid theories about his work, claiming such an approach would result in him designing the same building forever. Rather he attempts to make use of new forms that ""activate'' the space and create ``circulation''usually these works feature open-ended, erector-set forms that allow for later expansion. This lavishly illustrated catalogue, including all of Jahn's constructed designs, provides an intriguing blueprint of this architect's successful career. (January)