by | 23. Aug 2012


1.Morphosis.jpgPhoto: Kim Zwarts

This monograph is the first to document all of the built work by Morphosis, a Los Angeles-based practice headed by Thom Mayne and one of the most influential architecture firms of the past twenty years.

The book is comprised of bold, documentary-style colour photographs of thirty-five completed buildings presented in an almost cinematic layout, and publishes for the first time together all of Morphosis’s completed work, from the early residential and restaurant projects in Los Angeles to the most recent large-scale work beyond California and the United States – in Canada, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Austria.

An essay by Thom Mayne combines project descriptions with reflections on the firmas theories, convictions, and inspirations.  Parallel commentary by Val Warke is a counterpoint to Mayne’s writing.

2.Morphosis.jpg Photo: Rainier Blunk
Lawrence Residence, California (1980)

3.Morphosis.jpg Photo: Rainier Blunk
Venice III, California (1982)

4.Morphosis.jpg Photo: Tom Bonner
Kate Mantilini Restaurant, California (1986)

5.Morphosis.jpg Photo: Kim Zwarts
Crawford Residence, California (1990)

6.Morphosis.jpg Image courtesy Morphosis
Vienna Housing, Vienna Austria (1995)

7.Morphosis.jpg Image courtesy Morphosis
A.S.E. Visitor’s Center, Taipei, Taiwan (1997)

8.Morphosis.jpg Image courtesy Morphosis
Cedar Sinai Comprehensive Cancer Center, California (1998)

9.Morphosis.jpg Image courtesy Morphosis
Diamond Ranch High School, California (2000)

10.Morphosis.jpg Image courtesy Morphosis
Hypo Alpe-Adria Center, Austria (2001)

Morphosis’s unconventional geometries; beautifully executed, sculptural models; and complex, computer-generated drawings helped to usher in a new era of architectural experimentation in the early 1980s.

11.Morphosis.jpgImage courtesy Morphosis
Morphosis Retrospective “Silent Collisions” at the NAI (1999-2000)

Thom Mayne founded Morphosis in 1972 in partnership with Michael Rotondi, who now has his own firm. Over the past twenty years, Mayne’s academic posts have included teaching positions at Columbia University, Harvard University, Yale University, the Berlage Institute in the Netherlands and the Bartlett School of Architecture in London, among other institutions.

Val Warke is an associate professor of architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.