Galia Solomonoff

Architect / United States / Solomonoff Architecture Studio; Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Columbia University

Galia Solomonoff’s Book List

In 1975, my parents burned a significant and dear part of our library as Isabel Perón signed a number of decrees empowering the military to “annihilate” the Argentine left. It was a Sunday morning in winter. We were at our suburban house on the Paraná River and I was seven. I passed books to my father in silence; we did a barbecue to cover up the burning of the books. I passed an annotated volume of Charles Fourier—I don’t remember the title, but I remember it was red, leather-bound, and about 4 x 7 inches.

The respect for books has been with me ever since. The sense that books can change the world, unite people and make us better. The sense that knowledge is power and that somewhere in the world right now someone is being attacked for what they read or think.

The list of books below is eclectic. Some of these books have marked my thinking, and others have taken me to another time and place.

5 books
Felicity Scott

This is a methodical and complete account of a moment that happened once and then quickly disappeared. When I look at this book, I smile thinking about how much fun Ant Farm’s approach was and wondering where utopia and play find their places in architecture right now.

Various authors; transcript of conference at the University of Virginia, November 12–13, 1982 Transcript of Conference at the University of Virginia, November 12 and 13, 1982

A must read for anyone considering a life in architecture or wondering what they mean by “the boys’ club.” In about 200 pages one gets a lightly edited version of a juicy closed-doors two-day crit with Philip Johnson, Léon Krier, Robert Stern, Toyo Ito, Rafael Moneo, Paul Rudolph, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas, Richard Meier, and Peter Eisenman among others. In this 27-men-only caucus, they take turns freely discussing their work, using words such as “postmodernism,” “pastiche,” “schizophrenic,” and bitch.” It is a fun reminder of how much things have changed and how much good there still is to do.

Rem Koolhaas

This book offers an idiosyncratic account of disparate events that connect the city of New York. What amazes me is that it is such an easy read and still feels fresh as I review it now so many years after my first time reading it.

Bernard Tschumi

Before embracing digital architecture, Tschumi developed an intense relationship with film, and throughout this book, frame by frame, drawing by drawing, an obscure narrative emerges. This book has so much personality; it is so austere and yet so beautiful.

I don’t have my copy of Pamphlet Architecture 7 (“Bridge of Houses”), but any time I can browse through a library, I go to it. I love the drawings, the clear sense of the High Line as envisioned by Steven in the 1980s before it was anyone’s dream! I love the modesty of this book, how true it is!

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