Ten years after the publication of Ten Years Ten Cities, Terry Farrell’s office – now Farrells – has produced Continuum, a volume that charts the growth in scale and global spread of its projects over the last decade (Laurence King, 320pp, £50). Farrells maintains offices in London and Hong Kong, with staff numbers not dissimilar to those of ten years ago. They deal primarily with the UK and China respectively, carving up the rest of the world between them, but the results are never less than interesting and often spectacular. The introduction sees Farrell redefine himself as an ‘architect planner’, and he employs the analogy of a forest, in which the work represents a natural ‘continuum’, like a canopy of large trees fostering a flourishing undergrowth beneath, rather than a plantation in which isolated ‘signature’ trees stand alone, with neither connectedness nor rich undergrowth. Not everything fits this prescription, but the overall soundness and sensitivity of Farrell’s urban design underpins nearly all of the work here, bringing even the most sensational forms down to the ground with a confident rootedness.
First published in AT226, March 2012