Roger Connah’s Writing Architecture: Fantômas Fragments Fictions is a study of the most original Finnish architect and thinker Reima Pietilä (1923–1993). It is “an architectural journey through the 20th century”: Connah discusses Pietilä through his buildings and writings within the context of Pietilä’s international contemporaries in culture theory, art and philosophy. Roger Connah worked in Reima and Raili Pietilä’s office in Helsinki in 1973-1985.
This stunning monograph is a must-have for everyone interested in the theoretical developments of 20th-century Finnish architecture. Connah studies Reima Pietilä’s controversial position among modern Finnish architects and translates Pietilä’s sometimes highly complex conceptual exercises in the language of modern architecture theory. Roger Connah’s insightful writing is combined with amazing illustrations.
The reading of Aalto as a softening of the modernist cul-de-sac coincides with Pietilä’s assumed extravagance. Need we recall that Pietilä invites more local, mythological narratives, more paganism (hardly a kitsch) to Aalto’s allusions to an already agreed datum of architecture. Yet both were involved in the ambiguity of that recall; only Pietilä proved more literal in his willingness to upset any agreements or consensus achieved.
— Roger Connah, p. 427.
The copy for sale is in very good condition. The dust jacket of this heavy opus has some small tears and at one point (spread 144-145), the binding shows some minor signs of loosening.