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May 3, 2002
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The Princeton-based architecture firm Ford Farewell Mills and Gatsch (FFMG), is the subject of a new monograph, Stagings, published in November 2001 by L' Arca Edizioni of Milan, Italy. The book documents the broad scope of FFMG's work -- which has included a broad range of natural stone -- over the last decade and a half of the firm's 27-year history, during which it has established itself as a significant presence in the design of new buildings as well as historic preservation -- both locally and throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

Beginning with an introduction by architectural critic Susan Doubilet and a foreword by the film's lead designer, Michael Farewell, FAIA, the book focuses primarily on FFMG's institutional, cultural and educational commissions. Careful documentation highlights the firm's dual emphasis, which, according to Farewell, is informed by the belief that "both restored historic spaces and expressive new places have the capability to intensify, heighten and make memorable the rituals of use and occupation." The work presented explores the juxtaposition of the old and the new and the inherent dialogue created in the buildings that combine preservation efforts with modern additions. Guided by preservation architect Michael Mills, FAIA, FFMG's meticulous restoration of the Princeton University Graduate College, one of the foremost examples of collegiate gothic architecture in the U.S., represents one end of the spectrum of the firm's work. At the other end, its award-winning addition to the Far Hills Country Day School demonstrates the strength of its vision with regard to new design.

The unusual organization of the book further underscores the architecture's underlying coherence. Five sections -- Brick Works, Stone Works, Wood Works, Stucco Works and Steel Works -- are grouped on the basis of materials, as opposed to building type or discipline. Stagings is now available nationally through major book chains and on-line retailers, as well as specialty bookstores.

Circle No. 239

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