Portman’s America & Other Speculations takes an unconventional and speculative approach towards the understanding and future potentials of the work of one of the world’s most creative, controversial, daring and prolific architects, John Portman. Combining the talents of an architect, artist and developer, he was able to embark on a series of large-scale building projects – megastructures – that radically redefined the relationship of architecture to the city and its citizens.
“Many of [Portman’s] buildings are […] sharing common programs and approaches to their design,” says Mohsen Mostafavi, editor of Portman’s America & Other Speculations. “Nevertheless they manage to convey a particular spatial strategy that makes each of them distinct – different from the rest.”
Portman’s own voice and ideas complement the contributions of others, including new photographs by Iwan Baan, to present a more complex and nuanced reading of both the architect and his architecture. Finally, the repertoire of Portman’s buildings is analyzed in meticulous detail and used by a group of students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design as a catalyst for a host of divergent and new architectural speculations.
Edited by Mohsen Mostafavi, co-published by Harvard University Graduate School of Design
With photographs by Iwan Baan
Design: Integral Lars Müller