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Our contemporary condition, governed by the abstract apparatus of the capitalist market, demands a critical reading of the distribution, ownership, and use of common resources such as land. This is especially true in Britain with its long history of privatisation stemming from land enclosure. The latest research campaign of Laboratory Basel (laba), a satellite studio of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, investigated the English manor house and how it can serve as a testing ground to reassess Britain’s complex and ongoing relationship with the countryside.

The south-west of England, the most rural region of one of the more densely populated countries in Europe, reflects all the absurdities of a globalised country under pressure to develop economically, physically and environmentally. Highly protected landscapes, both natural and composed, form the backdrop to historic seats of political power and wealth, whilst sites of intense modern productivity are neatly concealed behind natural veils.

Manor Lessons: Commons Revisited, the concluding volume of laba’s Teaching and Research in Architecture series, explores the lessons that can be learned from the compound history of the Manorial System, whose forgotten feudalistic origins were once rooted in the idea of the land, not as private property but as common ground.

“Everything’s grand” says decorator extraordinaire, Carleton Varney. After over forty years in the interior design business, Varney opens his archive and brings together his favourite large-scale luxury decorating projects, including an Irish country manor, a sixteenth-century castle, a colonial mansion, a Southern plantation, along with two of his best-loved resorts – the Greenbrier in West Virginia and the “Queen of the Great Lakes”, Michigan’s Grand Hotel. On these pages, he also showcases his most recent private residential project – a 6000 square foot Mediterranean-style home, near the Rio Grande. In Decorating in the Grand Manor, Varney focuses our attention on all the elements of elegant design, from crystal chandeliers to magnificent architectural details and dispenses his time-honoured advice on how to achieve the look at home. Also available: In the Pink: Dorothy Draper: America’s Most Fabulous Decorator ISBN: 9780985225605 Mr. Color ISBN: 9780615450902 Houses in my Heart ISBN: 9780977787555

A collectible edition of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved children’s classic, with enchanting illustrations by Charles Robinson.
The Secret Garden
tells the story of Mary Lennox, a child who is spoiled, unliked, and tragically orphaned. She is sent to live with her uncle, who resides in a magnificent manor in the Yorkshire countryside. Mary discovers a garden tucked away in the manor’s grounds, and as the dilapidated garden transforms, so does the young girl. This book, which powerfully shows the healing power of nature, has resonated with generations of readers. Now fans of all ages can rediscover The Secret Garden in this beautiful clothbound edition featuring the exquisite colour illustrations by Charles Robinson that appeared in the original British edition of 1911. A new introduction explores how Robinson and other artists have approached the challenge of illustrating Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless tale.

The Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust cares for five venues in Brighton and Hove, including the spectacular Royal Pavilion, a royal palace created by George IV as his summer retreat, designed in its final form by John Nash in a Moghul Indian style and set in landscaped picturesque gardens. The Trust’s other venues are Brighton Museum and Art Gallery that holds important local history and archaeology, world art, and decorative art collections; Preston Manor a large house preserved in the Edwardian style with a beautiful walled garden; The Booth Museum of natural history; and Hove Museum and Art Gallery. The Trust cares for around one million objects, many of international importance and covering a wide range of subjects and types. In this enjoyable and richly illustrated guide, Hedley Swain, the Trust’s CEO, shares highlights from The Trust’s vast collections.

In an age of highly processed foods and more and more people with food allergies and intolerances, interest in local and organic foods and healthy eating is skyrocketing. This is where Living Off the Land – Ireland’s Kitchen comes in. The Connemara region of Ireland is one of the country’s most picturesque areas. Oscar Wilde once called it “a savage beauty.” With its rugged hills, postcard-pretty heaths and moors, and rocky western coastline, it offers a variety of impressive landscapes. Here, it is still possible to live in harmony with nature and make use of the natural resources and native crops the land provides.

This volume takes you to the Screebe House, a historic manor in western Ireland famous for its hospitality, comfort, and outstanding cuisine, and shows how you can use local products to create outstanding dishes with just a bit of cooking skill. Along with classics like a full Irish Breakfast and afternoon scones, you can cook mussels, clams, cockles, scallops, rack of lamb, and learn all about Irish cheeses. Breathtaking landscape photographs from the region round out the book perfectly and sweet you away on a dream trip to the west coast of Ireland.

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I cannot wait to visit Upton Grey to see the garden for myself.” Garden Design Journal

Gertrude Jekyll was perhaps the most important British garden designer of the 20th century. She famously argued that gardening ought to be considered a Fine Art, highlighting that it becomes a point of honour to be always striving for the best. This volume examines Jekyll’s work at Manor House, Upton Grey in Hampshire, offering an insight into her eclectic, imaginative, and inspiring art. Designed between 1908 and 1909, and once maintained by as many as nine gardeners, the garden fell into disrepair by the second half of the twentieth century, before a full and accurate restoration was carried out in the early 1980s.

Gertrude Jekyll: Her Art Restored at Upton Grey presents a visual record of the garden’s plants and layout, with original plans and photographs, as well as beautiful images of the garden taken since its restoration. There is also a fascinating chapter about Miss Jekyll’s discovery, admiration and use of Mediterranean plants. The book succeeds in illustrating exactly why Jekyll was so admired in her lifetime and why she continues to inspire and influence gardeners today.

Contents: Introduction Chapter 1: The Garden from 1902 to the Start of its Restoration in 1984 Chapter 2: The Rose Garden Chapter 3: The Dry-Stone Walls Chapter 4: The Main Herbaceous Borders Chapter 5: The Pergola, the Rose Arbour and Surrounding Garden Chapter 6: Miss Gertrude Jekyll’s Mediterranean travels and plant discoveries and their use at Upton Grey Chapter 7: The Wild Garden Chapter 8: The Art Completed Also available: The English Garden Through the Twentieth Century ISBN: 9781870673297

Architecture Stuff
is about a way of looking at architecture. It examines 7 seminal projects and shows how they might have been conceived with or without the design architect’s awareness. More a working method than a theory, the book deals with questions pertinent to designers as well as to critics of buildings. More Stuff then illustrates how the same sensibility and working method can be used in the design of buildings as a tool for creating architecture.

The 7 buildings featured are chosen for their breadth of styles and approaches to architecture, demonstrating that this approach to architecture can be applied to any building. Presented in reverse chronological order, the first project, Grace Farms, is a building by SANAA. Noted for its meandering river form and minimalist detailing, it is seen to be – among other things – a juxtaposition of orthogonal and sinuous forms. The second project is Villa Dall Ava by Rem Koolhaas/OMA. Located in the suburbs, the house is a transition from city to country. The third project is the Neue Staatsgalerie by James Stirling. The analysis shows how the ‘bad boy’ of architecture subverts conventional architectural tropes. Robert Venturi’s Mother’s House is shown to be a compressed stately manor and an architect’s conceit. The Kimbell Art Museum by Louis Kahn can be understood as simple repetitive forms with elaborated elements that organize a diverse collection of spaces. Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre is much more than types of transparency and mechanisation. One of its major themes is the use of ‘L’ shaped spaces. Finally, St George’s Bloomsbury by Nicholas Hawksmoor is a parish church swallowed by a classical temple. The critique exposes how the architect used that idea to juxtapose the clerical and the civic to develop all of the details in the building.

These are not singular idea buildings and, as a way of seeing architecture, there are overlapping themes in this collection. The history of architecture of specific periods is a common theme, as is architecture’s stasis with spaces expanding or contracting. A dry sense of humour is always appreciated. What separates these buildings from any other building is the density of ideas presented.

More Stuff accounts for the same working methods as a way to make architecture. Here the author illustrates eleven projects across the span of his career. Though often done in collaboration with others, in all cases the author generated the design ideas. One of the key aspects of architecture stuff is that it is unpretentious and accessible and these projects are meant to illustrate that quality. Architecture can be serious and playful at the same time.

Bears All Things (from the Finnish “Kaiken se kestää”) is a lifelong art project by the artist couple Mammu and Pasi Rauhala. The project, which has taken place every year since 2013, comprises photographs of the artists going about their daily lives, from renovating their home, to gardening – always in the same getup: their wedding attire. Their gestures and appearance, always very serious, are a nod to the tradition of the family portrait. With a generous dose of humour, the works encourage the audience to reflect on the institution of marriage and issues of interpersonal relationships, both on the individual and the societal level.

“A charming, entertaining, and illuminating read – not only for all those in or around the wine trade, but also for all those outside who want to see in to what makes it so special. “ – Neil Beckett, Editor, World of Fine Wine

The memoirs of a wine trade insider, from the heady days of 1960s to today. Quickly discovering that a knowledge of wine opened doors that were closed to lesser mortals, Ben had a front row seat as the wine trade grew from an elitist and rather amateurish profession into a multi-million dollar global business. This is the story of how it happened, and of the many remarkable characters he befriended along the way – people whose marketing genius was matched only by their desire to put a smile on everyone’s faces. In true vinous style, Ben’s book is sure to do the same.

Plumbing the depths: – Ben’s valiant attempts to sell wine to beer-loving miners, which involved actually joining them at the coal face.

– Englishman abroad: a jolly jaunt through French châteaux, Spanish bodegas and Portuguese quintas, where Ben forged many of the friendships that would last a lifetime.

– Serious business: Ben’s career takes off during the golden age of wine and spirits marketing, when he played a part bringing many of the world-famous brands we know and love today into being.

The oeuvre of Swiss artist Mirko Baselgia, born 1982, has been carefully selected, using a combination of different materials. With references to architecture, (art) history, and classical music, his sculptural works symbolise, both in form and substance, the relationship between the individual and the environment; while additionally reflecting current sociopolitical issues. Mirko Baselgia ranks among the top most promising young artists in Switzerland. He has recently been awarded the renowned Kiefer-Hablitzel Prize and the Manor Art Award Chur, and the Bündner Kunstmuseum Chur staged Baselgia’s first solo museum exhibition in spring 2013. This first monograph presents a range of his work, further illustrated by a conversation between the artist, and curator Stephan Kunz. Text in English and German

Swiss artist El (Elisa) Frauenfelder, was born 1979 in Zürich. Her artistic education was at the Academy of Fine arts in Helsinki 2000-05 and she lives and works as an artist near Winterthur. Her work in painting and drawing often shows snap-shots of empty landscapes, townscapes, houses, or interiors. She carries her camera wherever she travels, in the plains of South Dakota, in Helsinki, or in the Swiss countryside, always capturing new motifs for her art. Working in a speedy process with palette-knife and subsequent scraping adds a raw and direct presence to her paintings. Sometimes sombre and dark-hued, sometimes gaudy and lurid, Frauenfelder’s pictures captivate the viewer with colours, shapes, and motifs despite their sketchy, open manner.

El Frauenfelder has been awarded the 2015 Manor Art Prize in Switzerland. The new book is published in conjunction with an exhibition at Kunstmuseum Winterthur in fall 2015.

Text in English and German.

Built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftans, Cormack MacCarthy, Blarney Castle is one of Ireland’s most visited monuments. Every year thousands flock to visit the ancient castle and walk through its delightful gardens – and to kiss the Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, which sits at the top of the tower. The castle and gardens are steeped in the history of Ireland; they are a place of mystery, magic and storytelling, in the great Irish tradition. This richly illustrated book presents Blarney in all its glory, giving historical context, a comprehensive tour of the castle, manor house and garden, and a taste of the many myths and legends that draw visitors from all over the world to Blarney today. On this virtual journey, stand on the upper ramparts, look down across 60 acres of sprawling parkland, including gardens, avenues, arboretums and waterways, and experience Blarney at its best.

“What a super book! Great photos, and such interesting facts – it all makes a fascinating read.” Christine Walkden, BBC-TV and Radio 4 Gardening Expert

“This is a wonderful book, tracing the history of the family firm and the marvellous structures they created, in great detail. There are detailed accounts of 40 of the firm’s most prestigious structures, stunningly photographed by professional garden photographer Jennifer Lilly. There is even a detailed chronological gazetteer of all the known Pulhamite sites. Definitely a must for your Christmas present list and garden history bookshelf.” Hazelle Jackson, Heritage Consultant London Landscapes Autumn/Winter 2012

“It is excellent… A brilliant piece of work – I thoroughly recommend it.” Peter Seabrook, Gardening Writer and Broadcaster Amateur Gardening

“The result of many years’ patient research, pulling together fascinating information on the Pulhams’ work, which extended from grand gardens such as Sandringham and Waddesdon to modest suburban villas.” The Times

“A Charming Labour of Love, this offers everything you could wish to know about Pulhamite – and probably much more… The photographs are superb, the research exhaustive and the gazetteer makes it invaluable for the study, restoration and maintenance of Pulhamite features in 19th to early 20th-century gardens.” BBC Gardens Illustrated

This book tells the story of James Pulham & Son, the eminent family of Victorian and Edwardian landscape artists who specialised in the construction of picturesque rock gardens, ferneries, follies and grottoes. The book covers more than four generations of the family business that was also responsible for the manufacture of extremely high-quality terracotta garden ornaments including fountains, vases, sundials and bulastrading. The rock gardens, for which the firm are mainly remembered today, were built with ‘artifical’ rocks – formed from heaps of old bricks and rubble, coated with cement, and sculpted to simulate the colour and texture of natural stone. The author’s interest in James Pulham & Son stems from the fact that no fewer than five of his ancestors worked for the company as ‘rock builders’. Features many incredibly famous locations, including Buckingham Palace, Sandringham, Heatherden Hall, Waddesdon Manor, Battersea Park, Friar Park and RHS Garden Wisley.