‘Mark’ is a newish architecture magazine, from the makers of Frame. Subtitled ‘Another Architecture’, it’s now on issue 3, is published quarterly, and is based in Amsterdam. Other than the content, the main attraction is the format – see below – yet the mag is littered with quite a few nice touches. Their sections adopt the appropriate vocabulary – Notice Board; Cross Section; Viewpoint; Long Section, and so on. ‘Notice board’ has a feel of pasted up images, drawn from the web – as per the AMO/Koolhaas Flickr photos of the Seattle Public Library in their recent Post-Occupancy – and sets the scene in terms of information density and free-flowing layout.
‘Viewpoint’ features in-depth profiles of a couple of practices; in issue 3, the awesome Atelier Bow-Wow and Sao Paulo’s Ruy Ohtake. Elsewhere, I discovered interesting new work, such as Paola Rossi and Massimo Fagioli’s Palazzetto Blanco in Rome and Hitoshi Abe’s private museum in Shiogama. Plus a decent focus on Kyoto. It all has an appropriately global feel, yet has the space to dive deep into a particular locale. In terms of design, there’s an interesting approach of modifying renderings of plans and photos, with some riotous layouts, taking full advantage of the large page size. The writing is pretty good throughout.
The current concerns in architecture, already familiar from the speedier archi-blogs, are covered in ‘Long Section’ i.e. Hadid in Germany, prefabs in America, fantasy in Dubai, geo-location/mapping and so on. Despite being first to the scene, though, blogs can’t do the job of magazines. The utterly extravagant layout, high information resolution and density, strong design and photography, large format, quality finish and sheer hefty physicality provide an experience that only print can muster. Many of the projects are explored through deconstruction of image as much as through text – exploded views and cutaways over huge double-page spreads.
A challenge would be to get a brand to work blogs and magazine together, each playing properly to their strengths. Here, Mark’s website, as with most magazines, currently falls well short of the, er, mark. There are some good ideas in the site, but some of the basics are missing i.e. individually addressable, readable articles and news items; a variety of navigation options; a full archive; and then something different altogether, taking advantage of the medium. Interestingly, despite coming from the same publishers, it’s less well produced than the Frame magazine site, by Koehorst in ‘t Veld.
However, Mark’s value lies in the sheer verve of the print product, and it’s shaping up to be an excellent publication.
Below, a fairly random selection of spreads from Mark magazine:
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