Portmania redux: The atrium king's crown slips

John Portman's Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles

Architect John Portman, who died in December, had a dazzling reputation - constructed largely by himself

The cover of the recent volume of essays, photographs and speculations on the oeuvre of the late John Portman, edited by Mohsen Mostafavi and published by Lars Müller, renders Atlanta’s Peachtree Centre in a seductive luminous pewter lustre. The inside sleeves of the book are mirrored in a similar hue, while its three main parts are clearly discernible, with the mid section forming a thick dark stripe around the book’s fore edge. The rear cover announces the book’s intention – to take an “unconventional and speculative approach” to a man it declares to be “one of the world’s most creative, controversial, daring and prolific architects”.

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