'What constitutes good architecture?' is a question Werner Blaser was always asked by friends, readers, companions and students. In this comprehensive work the author of many publications sets out on a search for the answer to that question by analysing special buildings, different aspects and interconnections become clear, which by themselves or in combination define an architectural quality. Drawing on photographs from his impressive archive, which he accompanies with short explanatory texts, 'Icons of World Architecture' demonstrates the basic foundations of architecture and perception. Blaser describes the relationship between the Finnish landscape and the works of Alvar Aalto or he shows how natural principles are found in the architecture of Santiago Calatravas or how Renzo Piano works with light. The borrowing of local construction traditions and the utilisation of regional materials in the structures of Jorn Utzon, Frank Lloyd Wright or in traditional Chinese and Indian architecture are also elucidated. Photographs of the works of Mies van der Rohe, Norman Foster or Helmut Jahn - often juxtaposed with the author's own buildings and projects - illustrate the passing on of time-honoured construction principles.
The last chapter of the book focuses on the relationship between archetype and image and the element of silence in construction. During the course of his studies the Swiss architect and author Werner Blaser came into contact with Alvar Aalto and Mies van der Rohe, whose structural philosophy influenced him. In his many publications he detects the basic similarities between the western classical Modern and the traditional architecture of the Middle East and Asia. In the course of his studies, the Swiss architect and author Werner Blaser encountered the works of Alvar Aalto and Mies van der Rohe. Their structural philosophy as well as the Japanese architecture had great impact on his own work. In his numerous publications, Blaser traces the similarities between Western modernism and Japanese traditionalism in architecture.