Reveal: Studio Gang Architects
Jeanne Gang, author
Princeton Architectural Press, publisher
Creative Direction & Design
Alexandra Lange, writing for Design Observer: “Compared to [architect Richard] Meier, the Studio Gang book, authored by principal Jeanne Gang, is the anti-monograph. No flattering, turtlenecked black-and-white portrait. No chronology. No modernist grid, setting the stage for more volumes to come. And almost no photos, or not the kind you expect. Reveal is purposefully unrevealing of the results of Studio Gang’s work, preferring to dwell in the realm of process and material.”
In developing the book concept, Jeanne walked through roughly 15 of her projects over the course of our first two-day workshop. I took a lot of notes, paying special attention to the specific words she used to describe the work and working process. Later I put together some language-based constellation diagrams, seeing where there was crossover, and what themes emerged that could suggest possible groupings. The book title came out of that exercise. Each project included in Reveal has a very unique relationship to the title, as described in Jeanne’s introductory essay. The title was also appropriate for Studio Gang’s very first book—a book that would expose, or reveal, their work.
SGA’s research and references told part of the story. There was an obvious rigor in material exploration, many historical references, a donation spreadsheet, and a deep sketch archive. These idiosyncrasies found a place in the book too. In addition to documenting the architecture, we developed Material Reports (in which we identified each project’s most critical material, then looked away from the project but deeper into the material itself), and a History broadsheet printed on newsprint (each with an historical narrative connected to a particular aspect of the project). For a project that relied heavily on the generosity of its community, the SOS Children’s Villages chapter contains a fictionalized catalogue spread of actual donations to the project. In the book’s back matter, excerpts from SGA’s sketch archive are housed as books-within-a-book.
/ Design Detail / On the cover I was looking at ways to split, obscure and reveal parts of the letterforms—referencing the idea of revealing or unveiling, as well as the literal reference to a (physical) reveal in architecture. I think the choice to replace the missing parts of the letterforms on the front cover with UV varnish, using a textural or material shift rather than a color shift, is in keeping with the spirit of Jeanne’s work. The varnish, a transparent material, is what reveals the book title. Making black on black legible was achieved by contrasting the matte black background with the high gloss UV over the letterforms.
Reveal is the most first and most comprehensive book of the work of Studio Gang Architects. You can read more about the making of Reveal in Print Magazine.