A-Typical Plan

Projects and Essays on Identity, Flexibility and Atmosphere in the Office Building

Analytical and atmospheric insights into the architecture of the workspace with a deep plan. Featured are buildings and projects by Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Alison & Peter Smithson, SOM, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, MVRDV, SANAA, and others.


Title Information

Edited by Jeannette Kuo

1st edition

, 2013


202 pages, 11 color and 68 b/w illustrations, 8 facsimiles, 137 floor plans and sections

19 x 28.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-906027-09-8


As a typology conceived in the twentieth century, the office building is often the architectural manifestation – not only of global capital, but also of technological might and mass production. But when we think of these buildings, we often think more of objects than of space; more of appearance than of atmosphere. In A-Typical Plan, Jeannette Kuo offers a reversal of the experience, starting from the inside out, and prioritizing space over symbol. In particular, the book reconsiders the deep plan within the European context for a discussion on density, economy and, not least, sustainability.


Featuring buildings by architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Kenzo Tange, Giuseppe Terragni, Le Corbusier, SANAA, Herzog & de Meuron, Toyo Ito, Christian Kerez, and many others, A-Typical Plan presents a collection of projects through history that have attempted to bring character to the deep plan as a spatial experience for the workspace. The work features essays by renowned authors, including Iñaki Ábalos, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Andrea Bassi, Florian Idenburg, Jeannette Kuo, Freek Persyn, and Antoine Picon. A conversation with Inès Lamunière and a graphic essay by Jimenez Lai round out the diverse perspectives. A final chapter presents the work of students at the EPFL, with whom this research began. Succinct and beautifully illustrated, A-Typical Plan is a reminder that even buildings created for quotidian uses can be spatially and experientially rich.


Named one of 2013’s Most Beautiful Swiss Books.


Designed by Samuel Bänziger, Bänziger Hug GmbH.


Forthcoming by the same editor:

Space of Production

Authors & Editors

Inaki Abalos

Pier Vittorio Aureli

Andrea Bassi

Isabelle Concherio

Florian Idenburg

Jeannette Kuo

 has graduated in architecture from University of California, Berkley, and done her Master’s degree at Harvard University. She is a founding partner with Karamuk * Kuo Architects in Zürich and an assistant professor in practice at Harvard Graduate School of Design. She was a visiting professor at Ecole Polyechnique Fédérale de Lausanne's School of Architecture 2011–14.

Jimenez Lai

Inès Lamunière

Enric Massip-Bosch

Freek Persyn

Dries Rodet

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