To construct their elaborate imaginings of future worlds, authors of science fiction must design every aspect of their visionary societies: economies, languages, races, kinship structures, and, crucially, architectures. Such fantastical structures are predominantly bound to the written word with one major exception: the cover image of a book. From the 60s stylings of Dean Ellis, to the painterly impressions of James Gurney, on up to the digital realism of Stephan Mariniere, these visual interpretations exist as valid architectural projects in their own right. That being said, there is a parallel, if much smaller, history of science fiction cover illustration that is of particular concern to us as architects: the rare occasions when the dust jacket is graced with a plan, rendering or photograph of an actual architectural project. We have gathered here a small collection of texts whose cover images appropriate the work of architects. Why these particular projects—some of which are built, some of which are not—were deemed fantastical enough to be drawn into the realm of science fiction we leave for Paprika!’s readers to determine.
Emily Abruzzo, Kent Bloomer, Brennan Buck, Peter Eisenman, Mark Foster Gage, Sunil Bald, Michael Szivos