Reinhold Martin

Reinhold Martin is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University, and a partner in the firm of Martin/Baxi Architects.

  • The Organizational Complex

    The Organizational Complex

    Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space

    Reinhold Martin

    A historical and theoretical analysis of corporate architecture in the United States after the Second World War.

    The Organizational Complex is a historical and theoretical analysis of corporate architecture in the United States after the Second World War. Its title refers to the aesthetic and technological extension of the military-industrial complex, in which architecture, computers, and corporations formed a network of objects, images, and discourses that realigned social relations and transformed the postwar landscape.

    In-depth case studies of architect Eero Saarinen's work for General Motors, IBM, and Bell Laboratories and analyses of office buildings designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill trace the emergence of a systems-based model of organization in architecture, in which the modular curtain wall acts as both an organizational device and a carrier of the corporate image. Such an image—of the corporation as a flexible, integrated system—is seen to correspond with a "humanization" of corporate life, as corporations decentralize both spatially and administratively.

    Parallel analyses follow the assimilation of cybernetics into aesthetics in the writings of artist and visual theorist Gyorgy Kepes, as art merges with techno-science in the service of a dynamic new "pattern-seeing." Image and system thus converge in the organizational complex, while top-down power dissolves into networked, pattern-based control. Architecture, as one among many media technologies, supplies the patterns—images of organic integration designed to regulate new and unstable human-machine assemblages.

    • Hardcover $39.95 £32.00
    • Paperback $44.95 £38.00

Contributor

  • On Accident

    On Accident

    Episodes in Architecture and Landscape

    Edward Eigen

    Engaging essays that roam across uncertain territory, in search of sunken forests, unclassifiable islands, inflammable skies, plagiarized tabernacles, and other phenomena missing from architectural history.

    This collection by “architectural history's most beguiling essayist” (as Reinhold Martin calls the author in the book's foreword) illuminates the unfamiliar, the arcane, the obscure—phenomena largely missing from architectural and landscape history. These essays by Edward Eigen do not walk in a straight line, but roam across uncertain territory, discovering sunken forests, unclassifiable islands, inflammable skies, unvisited shores, plagiarized tabernacles. Taken together, these texts offer a group portrait of how certain things fall apart.

    We read about the statistical investigation of lightning strikes in France by the author-astronomer Camille Flammarion, which leads Eigen to reflect also on Foucault, Hamlet, and the role of the anecdote in architectural history. We learn about, among other things, Olmsted's role in transforming landscape gardening into landscape architecture; the connections among hedging, hedge funds, the High Line, and GPS bandwidth; timber-frame roofs and (spider) web-based learning; the archives of the Houses of Parliament through flood and fire; and what the 1898 disappearance and reappearance of the Trenton, New Jersey architect William W. Slack might tell us about the conflict between “the migratory impulse” and “love of home.”

    Eigen compares his essays to the “gathering up of seeds that fell by the wayside.” The seedlings that result create in the reader's imagination a dazzling display of the particular, the contingent, the incidental, and the singular, all in search of a narrative.

    • Paperback $29.95 £25.00
  • Perspecta 39 "Re_Urbanism: Transforming Capitals"

    Perspecta 39 "Re_Urbanism: Transforming Capitals"

    The Yale Architectural Journal

    Kanu Agrawal, Melanie Domino, Edward Richardson, and Brad Walters

    An architectural perspective on the transformation of capital cities in an age of globalization, from Baghdad and Belgrade to Brussels and Washington D.C.

    This edition of Perspecta, the oldest and most distinguished student-edited architectural journal in America, investigates the transformation of capital cities in the era of globalization. This redevelopment, renewal, and recycling of the urban landscape—termed by the editors as “Re_Urbanism”—takes place as capital cities try both to cater to an influx of global capital and to reassert their roles as symbols of national sovereignty. Re_Urbanism investigates this process from an architectural perspective. The contributors explore the various ways capital cities struggle to assert their vitality and continuing relevance, examining capitals that compete internally with their own global counterparts (Abu Dhabi vs. Dubai), capitals that must be rebuilt after periods of destruction (Belgrade and Baghdad), and capital cities that are responding to hyperbolic development (Beijing, New Delhi, Kuwait City). Some cities are examined for their impact on border politics (Washington D.C.) while others reveal mythologies parallel to their modernist origins (Brasilia).

    • Paperback $20.00