As our readers are well aware, we love cool cars and great architecture. Put the two together and it's the definition of a winning combination. Which is exactly what Belgian lifestyle journalist Thijs Demeulemeester has accomplished with his new book Carchitecture: Houses With Horsepower, new from the Lannoo imprint and available on Amazon.
"Although architecture and cars are theoretically miles apart, the sources of inspiration for their designers are often strikingly similar," the publisher notes. "Recalling a time when you could recognize an architect from his Saab or his Citroën DS," the coffee table book "shows that architects and luxury car makers are alike in their appreciation of elegance of design, attention to materials," and purity of construction.
Chapters include "Classical Gas," pairing historical houses with powerful vehicles; "Brutal Power," doing the same for Brutalist architecture with its imposing concrete facades; "Contemporary Carchitecture," moving into current-day creations; "European Modernism," featuring examples of the most iconic Mid-Century architecture alongside marvelous motorcars; "Space Race," showcasing some out-there retro-futuristic designs; and "Case Study Cars," presenting some truly avant-garde duos.
Interspersed with the amazing photographs are some highbrow texts highlighting the intersection of architecture and automotive design. As famed pioneer of European modern architecture, Adolf Loos once proclaimed, “the automobile is an exemplary object that combines the virtues of economy and beauty, of utility and form,” the same values he espoused in his designs.
These texts include "Art Deco: the search for the perfect machine;" "Why Le Corbusier might better have been called Le Carbusier;" "Why Saab was the architect’s car par excellence;" "The car as the architect’s autopia;" and "How the car became Frank Lloyd Wright’s ultimate muse." Wright famously owned a Mercedes-Benz 300SL "Gullwing," perhaps the most beautiful car ever created.
So why is a Ferrari 458 Italia the perfect match for La Venaria Reale, a 17th Century palace in Turin, Italy? You'll just have to pick up a copy of this extremely cool book to find out (hint: Turin is the home of Pininfarina, for one).
You may even need a new coffee table to make sure it has a suitable backdrop, just like the wonderful wheels it pays homage to.