Interview with Nigel Coates | The Plan
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Interview with Nigel Coates

Nigel Coates

Alessandra Orlandoni - Writing a treatise is part of the whole culture of architecture: Vitruvius and Leon Battista Alberti were both influential in the past, ”Learning from Las Vegas” by Robert Venturi and D.S. Brown and “S,M,L,XL” by Rem Koolhaas influenced the present shifting the focus on architecture as a contemporary language. In what way do you want to influence the future with your cult treatise cum book “Guide to Ecstacity”?
Nigel Coates - There will always be aspects of architecture that you can’t express purely through buildings and even if drawings helps, it’s important to express yourself through a parallel medium, such as a book or a film. It’s about enlarging the cultural context of what you’re doing. My aim was to put together a book which people could use as a source of ideas.
Not a list of Branson Coates Associates (BCA) works, but a structure that encourages you to move around within it. “Guide to Ecstacity” represents the space between people, it constantly shifts its voice from the informer, the provocateur, the journalist and the storyteller and expresses architecture through all kinds of different forms and lifestyles. It has more to do with the reader’s feeling as though they are already in the book than with me. This is close to the approach you should have as an architect. A guide gives you advice and insight to go and experience the city for yourself, it should strengthen your ability to get something out of that place. I don’t think anyone else has used the vehicle of the guide as a metaphoric structure of architectural ideas.
A.O. - Ecstacity is a hyperplace, an ideal city realised with actual architecture, multicultural inhabitants assembled into 450 exquisite pages. Is conceiving and publishing a book very different from conceiving and planning a building?
N.C. - Not that different: you need to have an idea, to understand...

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