What if the constraints and limitations of architecture became the catalyst for design invention? The award-winning young architecture firm Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis calls their answers to this question "opportunistic architecture." It is a design philosophy that transforms the typically restrictive conditions of architectural practice--small budgets, awkward spaces, strict zoning--into generators of architectural innovation. Often building portions of projects themselves, these architects seek to maximize their project's impact through material fabrication and construction.
Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis presents a diverse selection of built and speculative projects ranging from small installations to larger institutional buildings. Their celebrated restaurant projects--including a cafe with a wall made by the architects from 479 cast-plaster coffee cup lids--present innovative solutions to the challenges of working with existing space. Their large institutional buildings such as Bornhuetter Hall for Wooster College imaginatively engage the particulars of program, budget, client needs, and code. Their designs for a residence in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, morph from a standard suburban elevation on the street front to a modern pavilion at the back. Also included are a selection of the firm's speculative projects addressing issues of urbanism and suburbanism. Built projects are accompanied by thought-provoking texts, beautiful drawings, and photographs. An appendix distills their design philosophy into five tactics, a readymade code for students and practitioners looking for design ideas for the real world. Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis>/I> will enlighten and inspire architects to create more useful, attractive, and interesting forms.
LTL was recently selected as one of six American architectural firms whose work was exhibited in the U.S. Pavilion at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale. In 2002, LTL was chosen by the Architectural League of New York as part of the "Emerging Voices" lecture series that recognizes architects achieving prominence. In addition, LTL was included in the 2000 National Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and was selected in December 2000 by Architectural Record as one of ten firms representing a vanguard in contemporary Architecture. Their work is represented in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The Heinz Architectural Center. LTL has received a series of awards including seven International Design Magazine Awards, three AIA NY Chapter Design Awards, two Interior Awards for the best casual restaurant of the year in 2005 and 2006, and the New Wave award from Hospitality Design Magazine.
Paul Lewis is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, as the winner of the 1998-1999 Mercedes T. Bass Rome Prize in Architecture. He is the Director of Graduate Studies at Princeton University School of Architecture. Marc Tsurumaki is a professor of architecture at Parsons School of Design and the Graduate School of Architecture at Columbia University.
David J. Lewis is the Director of the M.Arch Program at Parsons The New School for Design.
"LTL is a cutting-edge firm - so much so that most of their work looks interventionalist, evanescent, contingent, highly indistrialized, and, in the end temporary."
— Peter S. Kaufman, Boston Architectural College
"...the 10-year-old New York enterprise is more interested in the big picture, and has completed some impressive architecture and proposed novel approaches to urban design...the firm's completed buildings show its real potential for creating thoughtful long-lasting structures."
"Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis is something else. Opportunistic Architecture is an understated monograph from a firm that knows how to put understatement to good use."
Cooper-Hewitt Announces National Design Awards, Architect:
"National Design Award recipients this year from the world of architecture include... Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis for interior design"
"Opportunistic Architecture is an understated monograph from a firm that knows how to put understatement to good use."
Omni Personal Shopper: The Architecture Student, Shelfari:
"And finally, in search of some real in-the-know credibility, I consulted my sister, an architect who I suspect likes books even more than buildings, and who I always try to stump at Christmas with a gorgeous design book she's never seen (she might end up getting something from this list, in fact, but I can't say more, since I know she reads Omni!). She recommends a couple classics from the last few years documenting the work of innovative firms: Herzog & de Meuron: Natural History and Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis: Opportunistic Architecture. "