The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2014

Fundamentalists and Other Arab Modernisms. Architecture from the Arab World 19142014. Photo: Jason Evans, © BAK, 2015

Books with silver prints, cinematic experiences bound on cellulose, or text layouts ignoring page margins. The variety has no limits when it comes to the annually competition of “The Most Beautiful Swiss Books”. Since 1997 the Federal Office of Culture FOC awards publications for their extraordinary design and production efforts. This year a jury of five experts––Manuel Krebs, Géraldine Beck, David Bennewith, Markus Dressen and Kurt Eckert––awarded 17 from 437 submissioned books as “The Most Beautiful Swiss Books”. In the selecting process the jury took into account each book’s overall concept, graphic design and typography, and payed particular attention to innovation and originality. Further criterias included the quality and execution of printing techniques, the binding and the materials used.

The book Fundamentalists and Other Arab Modernisms. Architecture from the Arab World 19142014 has won this year’s gold medal (Design: Jonathan Hares, Lausanne; Publishers: Arab Center for Architecture; Printing: Musumeci S.p.A, Quart). The publication by the local Laurenz Foundation Paul Chan. New New Testament won the bronze medal and Edition Fink received a honorary diploma for their fink twice series, an outstanding solution for reprints and second editions.

After the launch of “The Most Beautiful Books 2014” at Helmhaus in Zurich, Kunsthalle Basel now has the honour to present the books in its foyer from Friday, October 23 to Sunday, November 1, 2015. Accompanying the 17 awarded books, all 437 submissiond publications will be on view for the public. Some of you may recognise that one of the awarded books Carl Andre. Poems by Lynn Kost features exactly those poems of the artist that have been shown at Kunsthalle Basel ten years ago in the exhibition Carl Andre: BLACK WHOLES, 44 CARBON COPPER TRIADS (2005).


Event – Architecture from the Arab World 1914–2014, a selection

Sunday, October 25, 2015, 2.30 pm, lecture in English
Schweizerisches Architekturmuseum S AM, Steinenberg 7, 4051 Basel

The lecture by George Arbid presents the activities of the Arab Center for Archtitecutre in Beirut and introduces the Bahrain Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, that was the base for the publication Fundamentalists and Other Arab Modernisms. The book was awarded in the international competition “Best Books from all over the world” with the gold medal (Stiftung Buchkunst, Frankfurt).

George Arbid is professor for architecture at the American University Beirut and director of the Arab Center for Archtecutre. He received a Diplôme d’Edudes Supéreures en Archticture at the Académie Libaniase des Beaux-Arts and did his habilitation at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.