Kevin Lippert, publisher of the book Architectural, has died at the age of 63

When Kevin Lippert was a graduate student in architecture at Princeton in 1981, he and his colleagues were encouraged to study the historical text. But these books were old, fragile, large, and cumbersome, and their access was limited.

It seemed to him that if they could be reprinted in small size and made available at a reasonable price, the students would gladly pay for them.

And so he made a whirlwind of his ideas. He persuaded the school librarians to let him take out rare books and copy them; If students had their own copy, he argued, they would not harm the original.

In a pilot project, he first examined “Recueil et Parallèle des Edifices de Tout Genre” (“Survey and Comparison of All Types of Buildings”), a book published in 1800 by the French architect Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand. He made wide copies on large sheets measuring 20 by 26 inches and kept them in a wooden box, it is better to store them. Pieces at $ 300, they were nice but not very practical.

To expand the appeal, he decided that his next book should be short and it should be bound. He chose a classic text: “Edifices de Rome Moderne” (1840), a three-volume masterpiece by Paul Letrauili, sometimes called the most beautiful book published on Renaissance architecture. He found a printer that condensed the work into one volume that could easily handle 9 by 12 inches, and 1,000 copies were printed.

Mr. Lippert took গাড় 55 from the trunk of his car to his students. They are sold immediately.

Thus was born Princeton Architectural Press, of which he was the founder and publisher. It eventually branched out of its classic reprint series to create high-quality books on architecture, design and visual culture – and later, hobby and craft books, children’s books and note cards.

The publishing initiative was an early example of the entrepreneurial attitude that animated the versatile Mr. Lippert, who died March 29 at his home in Ghent, NY, southeast of Albany. He was 63 years old.

His wife, Rachel Rose Lippert, blamed the complications of World War II on brain cancer.

Mr. Lippert made his name as a publisher, but he was more than that. He was a classical pianist who performed the first music at 6 and composed the first music at 8. He started at Princeton as a pre-med student, until he was fascinated by the history and philosophy of science and changed major. He received a master’s degree from the Princeton School of Architecture after being selected for the Phi Beta Kapa. He was a computer whistleblower and ran a technology services company, selling hardware and software to design businesses.

Next, he cooks, rides a bicycle, hikes, makes furniture, gardens, and fuels himself with countless cups of espresso. He was also a historian and wrote a book, War Plan Red (2015), about the secret plans of the United States and Canada to invade each other in the 1920s and 1930s.

“He was a real polymath,” wrote Mark Lamster, who worked for him at Princeton Architectural Press and is now an architectural critic at The Dallas Morning News.

But while Mr. Lippert was full of interest, his long-standing legacy lies in architecture. The press – which was founded in Princeton, relocated to Manhattan, then to Hudson, NY and then back to Manhattan – had no formal relationship with Princeton University, although Mr. Lippert’s Princeton credentials give it credibility.

At first, he met with a representative of Eastman Kodak and learned about the chemicals used in special photography. He then took pictures and made plates for his books, creating high quality work.

In 2004, he told Architect, an online architectural forum, “I want people to think, ‘If this is one of our books, it’s definitely interesting, handsome, well-edited and well-made.’

His goal was to bring architecture to the widest possible audience and to introduce new voices into the conversation.

“There was a gap between academic, theory-heavy MIT press and Rizoli’s coffeetabilism,” Mr Lamster wrote.

Mr. Lippert is the champion of emerging architects. He published Steven Hall’s seminal architectural manifesto “Anchoring” in 1989 and wrote an introduction to the book of the same name. Mr. Hall paid tribute to Mr. Lippert on his website, calling him “a committed intellectual and influential for the culture of architecture.”

Mr. Lippert also promoted the work of Tom Kundig, a prominent architect in the Pacific Northwest, with whom he published four monographs.

“He changed my life, and I think he changed the lives of a lot of people,” Mr Kundig told Architectural Records. See the list of his published books. He has created a whole architectural universe. “

Kevin Christopher Lippert was born on January 20, 1959, in Leeds, England. At the time, her parents, Ernest and Maureen (Alice) Lippert, were studying at the University of Leeds.

The family moved to Tennessee as soon as her father did her academic studies in analytical chemistry at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. They later moved to Ohio, and Kevin grew up mainly in Toledo.

She taught her grandmother to play the piano at 4, won numerous competitions, and continued to play all her life, including recitations at Princeton, where she worked as the music director of the campus radio station, WPRB. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1980 and his master’s degree in 1983.

He later taught at Princeton. An expert in digital technology, he was an early advocate of computer drafting and the use of 3-D visualization tools.

In 2020, he received an Arts and Letters Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Lippert is survived by his father; His mother, now Maureen Rudzik; Two sons, Christopher and Cooper; A daughter, Kate Lippert; And a sister, Curry Lippert. Her previous three marriages ended in divorce.

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