A recent review of Papers 3 by Jordi Badia

"At this time of uncertainty as to the way forward in contemporary architecture, when different approaches to work coexist, there are a series of English studios that advocate an architecture in continuity with tradition that, while not renouncing being clearly propositive and without surrendering to nostalgia, does not presuppose a break with its urban context. This trend, dominated by studios such as Sergison Bates and Caruso St. John among others, acknowledges a set of values in traditional and vernacular architecture, among them comfort, which they aim to replicate in their projects.

This book, the third of a series, contains a series of papers that support this position, with such eloquent titles as "Permanence", "The house in the city", "The picturesque as an urban condition", "The idea of comfort ", etc.

Architectural theory books are not very common, and from this point of view it is to be commended that a studio with a body of work as important as that of Sergison Bates should complement professional practice with teaching (Stephen Bates in Munich and Jonathan Sergison in Mendrisio ) and writing, as all these activities can be understood as parts of a whole, absolutely consistent with one another.

The graphic design of the book is excellent, as are the other publications of this studio, and each of the articles is illustrated with a cover image (some very evocative) and several pages of small images of impressive, relevant and well chosen examples at the end, in support of the thesis.

Stephen Bates has a long-standing connection with Catalunya and Barcelona, where he lived in his youth, and it is surprising how some of the references used are both so close and at the same time startling. For example his reflection on Santa Maria del Mar in the paper "Ten more rooms”, a medieval church in Barcelona that he considers as a street as it is possible to use it as a familiar shortcut on a route, thus offering an unusual view of this space, or his approach to the work of Federico Correa and Alfonso Milà which he uses as an example of the idea of comfort.

In short, a highly recommended book, with a series of good lessons in architecture, which, from our point of view, represents one of the best recently published books on architectural theory."