Lives in Architecture : Nigel Coates book cover
1st Edition

Lives in Architecture
Nigel Coates

ISBN 9781859469927
Published June 1, 2022 by RIBA Publishing
176 Pages

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Book Description

Irreverent and iconoclastic, Nigel Coates has been stirring up the architectural scene for over 40 years. In this warm and compelling autobiography, he explores the highs and lows of life at the cutting edge of architecture and design. Coates’ work often treads playfully at the intersection between bodies, sexuality and design. His portfolio includes interiors for Liberty, Jigsaw and Caffè Bongo in Tokyo, the Body Zone in the Millennium Dome, and built work such as Noah's Ark and the Wall (both in Tokyo) and the Geffrye Museum extension, London. He has also collaborated with high-end product and lighting manufacturers Fornasetti, Fratelli Boffi and Slamp. Formerly the Head of Architecture at the Royal College of Art, London, he is now a leading light of the new London School of Architecture.

Featuring over 100 images of Coates’ most celebrated projects, this memoir is a visual feast for any devotee of contemporary British design. It encompasses his childhood in postwar provincial Malvern, student years at the Architectural Association, the founding of radical architectural group NATØ, 70s and 80s London club culture and lost loves along the way, as well as his prolific professional career, which has spanned buildings, interiors, teaching, exhibitions, furniture and products. This is a searingly honest, unvarnished personal history of one of the UK’s most versatile designers.

Table of Contents


About the author


Chapter 1. A turbulent trajectory

Chapter 2. Controversy at the Academy

Chapter 3. Tuscany via Tokyo

Chapter 4. A proper job

Chapter 5. Books and design

Chapter 6. Home at last References Image credits

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Nigel Coates is a celebrated British architect and designer. As director of Branson Coates (1984–2004), he designed buildings, interiors and products internationally. Examples of his work are held in several museum collections, including the V&A in London and FRAC in Orléans. He is the author Guide to Ecstacity (Laurence King, 2003), Collidoscope (Lawrence King, 2004) and Narrative Architecture (Wiley, 2012). The former Head of Architecture at The Royal College of Art, he was awarded the RIBA Annie Spink Award in 2012 for his outstanding contribution to architectural education.