The Nature of Buildings



ISBN: 9780500025406 Category:



A major overview of Skylab’s built works, from show-stopping residences to high-profile cultural projects, presented via a covetable book design that takes its inspiration from an album or LP.

Skylab: The Nature of Buildings is the first monograph of the Portland, Oregon-based architecture and design studio. Founded by Jeff Kovel in 1999, Skylab has emerged as a leading creative force in the Pacific Northwest and North America. At the vanguard of innovative and sustainable design, the practice is known for a range of spectacular residences designed for leading creatives, as well as distinctive music venues, resorts, and other high-profile projects, including the N M Bodecker Foundation, Nike’s Serena Williams Building, and the Columbia Building. Presenting more than two decades of work, the story of Skylab is told by several influential contributors through reflective essays, interviews, conversations and anecdotes, as well as extensive project photography and illustrations that detail the firm’s design process.

A uniquely crafted object, the book’s design is based on the concept of a double vinyl album, with four ‘sides’ (A, B, C, D), ten projects ‘tracks’, inside front- and back-cover gatefolds, and nine project ‘interlude’ foldout posters in the book.

‘Our work balances on three themes: narrative, strategy, and regeneration’, Kovel writes in the book’s Preface. ‘Narrative is the “what” – a design process based on telling compelling stories. Strategy is the “how” – innovating best practices through construction and market intelligence. Regeneration is the “why” – our north star and the legacy of our work, defined by designing with nature as a partner, seeking to rebalance the relationship with land, time and people. This was the bedrock meaning behind our practice when we started in 1999, and it continues to this day.’

Additional information

Weight 2026 g
Dimensions 25.2 x 25.4 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 27 July 2023
Number of pages 268
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Benjamin Halpern, Contributions by Randy Gragg, John Hoke, Jeff Kovel, Mauricio Villarreal, and Mimi Zeiger
Dimensions 25.2 x 25.4 cm
Weight 2026 g


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Established two decades ago in Portland, Oregon, Skylab are a band of makers - architects, designers, creators and entrepreneurs working together across a wide range of landscapes and locations. Jeff Kovel is the founder and design principle of Skylab Architecture Studio. He has been a leading creative force in the dramatic evolution of Portland over the last twenty years and his work can be found in wildly different contexts, spanning residential, commercial, civic, retail, prefab, museum exhibitions and music and sports venues. Benjamin Halpern is an Associate at Skylab.