'Dom Hans van der Laan. A House for the Mind' wins DAM Architectural Book Award 2018

The book Dom Hans van der Laan: A House for the Mind is among the prize winners of the prestigious DAM Architectural Book Award and thus belongs to the ten best architecture books of the year.

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Dom Hans van der Laan: A House for the Mind
The book Dom Hans van der Laan: A House for the Mind is being published by the Flanders Architecture Institute on the occasion of the exhibition Dom Hans van der Laan. A House for the Mind which took place in 2017 at deSingel in Antwerp. The manual is an introduction to Dom Hans van der Laan’s design methodology, as he applied it to Roosenberg Abbey. Original drawings are combined with explanatory diagrams, complemented by nine original letters from the architect to the Sisters as well as a series of photographs by Friederike von Rauch, to offer an in-depth reading of this building on different levels. Read more

Jury statement:
A book that seems to come from a different age. 'A House for the Mind' has no need for grand creative gestures, relying instead on a subtle yet precise form of expression to familiarize readers with its subject matter – the design philosophy of Benedictine monk and architect Dom Hans van der Laan (1904-1991). The print space and typography are intuitively arranged and overall the publication, an exhibition catalog, is characterized by restraint. The use of OTA binding for the catalog is just as pleasing as the sensitive choice of materials, which already makes the book seem prize-worthy when touched with closed eyes. The effortless switch to coated paper for the atmospheric photo essay by photographer Friederike von Rauch attests to skilled bookbinding and depicts the spatial qualities of Roosenberg Abbey in Waasmunster (Belgium) – a masterpiece of van der Laans – in a manner that makes it almost physically palpable. The volume contains an introduction to the measurement system van der Laans developed and is complemented by a series of letters addressed to the sisters of the abbey that shed light on the design and construction process. The only thing the jury did not like was the typography on the front cover, noting that the pleasant proportionality of the inside section is lacking here and criticizing the use of too many font sizes. (Bernd Kuchenbeiser)

DAM Architectural Book Award
The Frankfurt Book Fair and the German Architecture Museum (DAM) award the International DAM Architectural Book Award for the tenth time. The unique in its kind and by now highly regarded award distinguishes the best architecture books of a year. The award ceremony will be held on October 10 at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM). Also an exhibition of the awarded books will be presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 10 – 14, 2018) Read more



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