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Foster's latest book celebrates his four decades as head architect of Foster+Partners, a firm with global influence and a leader in sustainable design that has planned major buildings, complexes, and districts worldwide. The 40 projects profiled in the "Projects" volume each receive a brief description and several quality color photographs. The "Themes" volume then briefly introduces design themes-e.g., glass walls, urban rooms-carried out in various of those projects. These design themes are coupled with Foster's sketches, graphics, and black-and-white photographs. "Themes" is more personal than "Projects," revealing some of Foster's thought processes. As a nod to the firm's specialty in high-tech design, the two slipcased volumes sport brushed aluminum covers connected by a flexible joint along the bottom edges. However, the volumes cannot be separated, and the covers have sharp edges, so though the book as a combined whole offers an impressive summary, it is not really intended for libraries. Consider for comprehensive architecture collections.
—David R. Conn