This book, ‘Placing Architecture’ sets a new direction for architecture which changes the way we live with our environment. It is an intuitively-led methodology useful to students, architects, landscape architects, designers and artists in achieving more connectivity to our immediate surroundings and here and now.

Foreword by Lebbeus Woods

‘It is so seldom that we encounter the work of an architect that fully engages the idea of landscape that at first we hesitate before it, not knowing what to think. Architects, so we have been conditioned to believe, design buildings, objects that sit upon one landscape or another, with some sensitivity to it or not, but fundamentally separated from it. Architects, so we have been taught, are not responsible for landscapes, but only for the tectonic fragments they scatter across them. The landscapes themselves are the responsibility of planners, government agencies representing the public interest, or specialized designers–landscape architects–who design the ground surfaces building architects do not, usually constructing gardens, parks and other public spaces. It a division of professional labor to which we have become accustomed, but which leaves us totally unprepared to appreciate, and critically evaluate, the work we encounter in this book.

For Patti O’Neill, architecture and the landscape are one. In her work, they cannot exist without each other. Indeed, we cannot find in her drawings and designs where one begins and the other leaves off. There are discreet spaces and elements, just as there are distinct and separate trees in a forest, but they intertwine and interact in ways that speak of a complex harmony of differences. Hers is a subtle interweaving of shapes, colors, textures, but also of presences, of different modes of existence. In her projects, the tactile and conceptual engage in an especially constructive play. It is a new way of seeing the human and the natural together, in the aspect of its not only generous but, at the same time, particular embrace. This is highly original work. We have not seen it before.

In her projects, we find an inspiring direction for the future. Avoiding jargon, she creates a vivid series of designs, texts, and images exploring the ways previously assumed opposites can be reconciled with intelligence and beauty. Her directness sends a message of its own. Experience. Think. Feel. And draw. Forget the given categories and divisions. Be independent, be free, yet be precise. And be deliberate. In the deliberateness of her work, its unqualified intentionality, I perceive a profoundly ethical stance.

The burden is on us, now that the book, and the work of many years it represents, is in our hands. We have to reconsider our usual ways of thinking about landscape, and about architecture, if we are to experience the fullness and, yes, the joy of her vision.’

Lebbeus Woods, Architect and Professor, 5th November 2007 NYC, USA


Irish Arts Review Autumn 2008

‘Placing Architecture… eludes straight-forward classification…Within this small monograph of only sixty-three pages O’Neill’s discussion thematically includes; travel, ecology, art, photography, architecture, topography, environmentalism, philosophy and sociology.’ View full review (PDF) ‘ View full review (PDF)

Marianne O’Kane Boal, curator and critic who writes on art and architecture, Dublin

Architecture Ireland April 2009

‘Her process is a feed-back-loop where nature inspires art inspires architecture, architecture changes the landscape, changing our perception and onward to new art. Her work points the way to thedesign of an architecture closely connected to nature. In the search for a new synergy of architecture and landscape, Patti O’Neill has made fabrications that illustrate the term ‘Land-arch’ as defined by Manuel Gausa in ‘The Metapolis Dictionary of Advanced Architecture’.  View full review (PDF)

Victoria Kavanagh, MRIAI, MVK Architects and Landscape Architecture Tutor, Dublin

Landscape Ireland Spring 2009

‘With its legible road mapping of a methodology for creativity; one can readily appreciate the usefulness of such a methodology within the academic and professional design studio’ View full review (PDF)

Daibhí Mac Domhnaill Irish Landscape Institute

AJ-Online Autumn 2008

‘Placing Architecture’ is a good theme for any architect; and perhaps especially so for a young architect such as Patti O’Neill who appears, in this the first publication of her work, to be both observant and inventive.
If ‘placing’ suggests action, it also triggers hints of Heidegger and Bachelard and – as with much of the best recent architecture from Ireland – a phenomenological approach to construction.’ View full review (PDF)

Raymund Ryan is Curator at the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA

‘Patti O’Neill’s treatise is a very valuable discourse on a design approach derived from the study and understanding of nature itself. The format of taking 3 projects and using them to illustrate the artistic process is informative and revealing, offering to the reader insights into how the creative mind takes clues from nature to achieve unique and convincing architectural solutions.’

Hugh Murray, Founding Architect of Murray O’Laoire Architects, Ireland

‘….the book is intriguing, stimulating, and beautiful…..’

Sean O’Laoire, former President of the Royal Institute of Architects Ireland

About the Author

Patti O’Neill Dipl.-Ing. studied architecture between 1989 and 1995 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart, Germany. In 1993 under the guidance of the architect Lebbeus Woods in NYC, USA, she completed a project setting the direction for her future work. After graduating she received state grants and funding to pursue her own philosophy of architecture. The results of her research are compiled in this book