Non-Referential Architecture (Hardcover)

Ideated by Valerio Olgiati and Written by Markus Breitschmid

By Valerio Olgiati, Markus Breitschmid

Park Books, 9783038601425, 144pp.

Publication Date: August 15, 2019

List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


More than ever, architecture is in need of provocation, a new path beyond the traditional notion that buildings must serve as vessels, or symbols of something outside themselves.
Non-Referential Architecture is nothing less than a manifesto for a new architecture. It brings together two leading thinkers, architect Valerio Olgiati and theorist Markus Breitschmid, who have grappled with this problem since meeting in 2005. In a world that itself increasingly rejects ideologies of any kind, Olgiati and Breitschmid offer non-referential architecture as a radical, new approach free from rigid ideologies. Non-referential buildings, they argue, are entities that are themselves meaningful outside a vocabulary of fixed symbols and images and their historical connotations.

For more than a decade, Olgiati and Breitschmid’s thinking has placed them at the forefront of architectural theory. Indispensable for understanding what the future might hold for architecture, Non-Referential Architecture will become a new classic.

About the Author

Valerio Olgiati is a Swiss architect and professor at the Accademia di Architettura der Università della Svizzera Italiana in Mendrisio, Switzerland. 

Markus Breitschmid is professor of architecture theory at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.