1 min read

‘Even If a Project Fails, the Ideas Behind It Don’t Disappear’

For architects and designers, unbuilt/unrealized projects are confounding, bittersweet, frustrating, elusive, even ghostly—the ultimate what-ifs. Often launched with the grandest ambitions, only to become derailed by the multiplicity of complications that can beset every proposed work of architecture. Author, editor, and critic Sam Lubell has spent a healthy chunk of his career cataloging these thwarted fever dreams. Now he has released,with co-author Greg Goldin, a new compilation, Atlas of Never Built Architecture (Phaidon), a global survey of more than 300 unbuilt projects ranging from the 20th century to the present day. Recently I reached out to the writers to talk about the book, what unbuilt projects say about the culture at large, and some of their favorite unrealized projects. This interview was conducted via email, with Lubell and Goldin choosing to respond jointly.