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Dundurn Publishes Ambitious Art Book by Renowned Architect Eberhard Zeidler


Eberhard Zeidler is best known for designing iconic buildings such as the Toronto Eaton Centre, Ontario Place, and the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto. But for his latest project, the renowned German-born architect turned to words and images. 

Published by Dundurn Press, Zeidler’s Building Cities Life is a combined memoir and art book. To be released in late August, the 1,232-page, two-volume set will come packaged in a slipcase and retail for $500.

Dundurn founder and publisher Kirk Howard says Zeidler initially approached the press, attracted by its “good tradition of art and architecture books.” Although Dundurn has a history of producing ambitious titles – including a 230-page coffee-table book commissioned for the Royal Canadian Navy’s centennial – the scope and size of Zeidler’s book makes it the largest ever published by the press. 

Former Dundurn associate publisher and editorial director Michael Carroll acted as supervising project editor before leaving in October to take an editorial position at the Aga Khan Museum. Carroll and his successor on the project, Allister Thompson, worked closely with a team hired by Zeidler, led by CBC Radio producer and Textile Museum of Canada co-founder Max Allen. Other members on the editorial team included former Key Porter Books editors Linda Pruessen and Meg Taylor.

According to Carroll, Zeidler’s original manuscript came in at nearly 450,000 words, but the project’s biggest challenge was preparing over 1,000 photos and illustrations, some of which had been scanned from photocopies and needed their originals tracked down. “A lot of illustrations had to be checked for accuracy and quality, and captions written and placed in the right position,” Howard says.

Given Zeidler’s reputation and body of work, Howard anticipates that Building Cities Life will find a  international audience, via niche art and architecture booksellers such as Toronto’s Swipe Books. “He has built buildings around the world and has offices in seven different countries,” Howard says. Chinese-language rights and English-language German rights have already been sold, with a German-language deal expected to follow.

Source: Quill and Quire, Sue Carter Flinn. July 22, 2013.

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