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The Publisher's Recommendation

DOM publishers' Recommendation

6 books

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Die Ökonomisierung des Raums
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Die Ökonomisierung des Raums
€ 98.00
Eugenio Miozzi (Engl.)
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Eugenio Miozzi (Engl.)
€ 28.00
Unfinished Metropolis
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Unfinished Metropolis
€ 48.00
Sauerland
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Sauerland
€ 38.00
The Nuclear Dream
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The Nuclear Dream
€ 98.00
Katalog Frühjahr 2021
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Katalog Frühjahr 2021
€ 0.00
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Our extensive publishing programme combines both of our passions: architecture and designing high-quality books. Experienced editors, creative graphic designers, and architects work at the interface of theory and practice under one roof in the Friedrichswerder area in Berlin. We publish up to 40 new titles each year and aim to provide architects, instructors, and students with a valuable foundation for their daily work and to make a critical contribution to the contemporary debate on architecture. In addition to the series of manuals, architectural guides, and basics, our thematic focuses include the architectural history of the former Soviet Union as well as architecture in Africa and the Muslim world. Our books are published primarily in English and German, but increasingly also in Russian, French, Italian, and Spanish. Our global distribution network means our titles can be purchased in architecture bookshops around the world, from New York to Moscow through to Tokyo.

From "Altbau" to "Gebrauchsarchitektur"

Some words, no matter how trivial they may seem in the original language, do not lend themselves to direct translation. Kyung Hun Oh, our in-house translator, talks about some challenges of his daily work.

 

Text: Kyung Hun Oh
Photo: "Altbauten" in Berlin's Schöneberg area © DOM publishers

 

Altbau: The word Altbau, literally ‘old building’, is a perfectly common word in German, denoting a Gründerzeit-era building from the late 19th or early 20th century. The word carries several connotations, and the translation must reflect the sense being emphasised. A text might be highlighting the fact that an ‘Altbau’ is more fashionable to live in than a contemporary building; it might be exploring how building practices and aesthetics changed after the Second World War; or it might be describing how an old building is being expanded as part of a renovation project. Possible translations thus include ‘period building’, ‘pre-war building’, and ‘existing building’.

Sortenrein: In some building projects, the architect might choose to combine materials in a way that is sortenrein – literally ‘pure in kind’. This means the materials are kept in separate layers without the use of glue so they can be reused. The word has no direct equivalent in English and would warrant an explanation in a subordinate clause.

Vorzeigearchitektur vs. Gebrauchsarchitektur: These two terms came up in an essay I recently translated. Literally, the former means something like ‘showpiece architecture’; the latter something like ‘use architecture’. The former implies 'prestigious', 'iconic', 'recognisable', and 'unique'; the latter implies 'ordinary', 'functional', 'plain'. I chose to translate the two terms as ‘landmark architecture’ and ‘ordinary architecture’.

Tags: English