On Intricacy: The Work of John Meunier Architect
Patrick Lynch (editor), Simon Henley & David Grandorge
Canalside Press, 2020
On Intricacy is perhaps unusual in that it’s not a monograph, nor is it a hagiography. John Meunier is still alive.
On Intricacy celebrates and proselytises the ideas that John has articulated throughout his career. On Intricacy is not a book about him as such, nor simply a book by him, but a book with him, and it reflects his life’s work as an architect and teacher, in the UK and USA. On Intricacy continues conversations between John Meunier and Patrick Lynch that first appeared in Issue 2 of the Journal of Civic Architecture. It also includes essays by Meunier, Lynch and the architect Simon Henley, as well as new photography of The Meunier House at Cambridge by David Grandorge.
Intricacy is not so much an aesthetic term, although it is a sign of quality in artistic work, as something intrinsic to human situations. Intricacy is something that architecture does or doesn’t reflect, and when it does, it tends to be life-like, vital, and therefore good.
On Intricacy is a visual and written polemic reflecting the hard-won wisdom of a practical life. On Intricacy is also a biography of sorts of a man born into a relatively recent, but also a very different age. It tells an inspiring story from a period of hope and opportunity in the 20th century. On Intricacy will be welcomed by students, historians and practising architects, and by anyone concerned with the deep reciprocity of ethics and aesthetics in human ecology and culture.