This is our somewhat beat up copy of OneFiveFour by Lebbeus Woods, who passed away last week at the age of 72.
The bulk of the book is a relentlessly graphical barrage of ideas, much if it reminiscent of Archigram and Paulo Soleri’s Arcology work. Much of it is conspicuously informed by Woods’ theories, which are briefly surveyed in his introduction that reads occasionally like a bit like Buckminster Fuller’s poetry, perhaps with some zeal subtracted.
Like Soleri’s work but of a darker sort, this is the stuff that inspires science fiction and fuels the imagination. The works in OneFiveFour are from the late ’80s and are largely concerned with an underground Berlin, beneath the wall. A Berlin that is a manifestation psychological and political present, sandwiched beneath the Berlin Wall above and fueled by the forces and energies of the earth emanating from below. Still living with these ideas decades later, Woods posted a film treatment for UnderGround Berlin on his volumnous blog.
OneFiveFour was published in 1989 by Princeton Architectural Press. It spent much of the time since then scarce and out of print. However, it was resurrected in 2011 and is now easy to get a hold of. Copies of the first edition of this title, which is Woods’ first monograph, though still pretty scarce, are available in $50-$100 territory at press time. To us, this seems like a worthwhile deal for an influential and stunning work.