Context and Content: The Memoir of a Fortunate Architect

Category: Book
By (author): Diamond, A.J.
Subject:  ARCHITECTURE / General
  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Artists, Architects, Photographers
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Published: May 2022
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 8.50in x 5.50in x 1.00in
Our Price:
$ 25.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A deeply personal memoir from one of Canada's most celebrated architects.A.J. Diamond is recognized as a leader in contemporary architecture. In this personal account of his life and work, Diamond shares how he came to be the founder of the leading architecture firm Diamond Schmitt, one of Canada's most successful architecture companies. He also explains his principles of design, which at their core are about making a positive impact in the world, considering the needs of the content, client, and context. Diamond gives insight into his design principles in relation to some of his most notable projects, including the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, the Maison symphonique in Montreal, the Mariinsky II Theatre in St. Petersburg, and the new City Hall in Jerusalem.Diamond also chronicles his family ancestry, his childhood in South Africa, from his birth in his grandfather's study in the small provincial town of Piet Retief on the borders of Eswatini (Swaziland) and Mozambique, to his university days at the University of Cape Town and Oxford - where he played rugby at the international level, scoring two winning tries for the Oxford Blues against Australia - and the University of Pennsylvania. His memoir traces his immigration to the U.S. and, eventually, Canada as well as his growing architectural practice in Toronto, where he focused on the issues facing his chosen city.
From The Publisher*Jack Diamond's rich account of his life takes us from his birth in his grandfather's library in rural South Africa, to playing rugby at an international level, to enjoying world-wide success in architecture and painting delicate watercolours. Context and Content is evidence of a life well spent.
Review Quote*

Jack Diamond has been a commanding figure among Canadian architects for over half a century, recognized not just as a giant in his profession but also as a committed and contributing progressive citizen. He has created landmark buildings both at home and abroad, relentlessly guided by principle and his commitment to make a better world. His autobiography traces this consequential life including stories of some of his most acclaimed projects and achievements. I have long admired Jack, but reading his life story has given me a deeper appreciation of just what an interesting journey he has travelled in making his difference in the world.

Review Quote*Jack Diamond has written a deeply beautiful memoir - wise, measured, grateful - a moving assertion of what it means to live a life of principles, passion, civic responsibility and intense engagement with the world. A powerful sense of responsibility runs through this book - what building means to a city, to a community, to history, to ecology, to the affirmation of social justice; as well as the insistence that our public buildings respect, and make possible, profoundly intimate experience, in the excellence of our great concert halls and theatres. This is a remarkable memoir of intensely affecting and abiding relationships - between "context and content", the political and personal, history and family history: it understands, with great acuity, that how we live shapes the world.
Biographical NoteA.J. Diamond is one of the world's most prominent and innovative architects, a Royal Architecture of Canada Gold Medallist, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a member of the Order of Ontario. He lives in Toronto.