The redevelopment and modernisation of historical environments is a subject that has been receiving a great deal of attention in architectural journals for quite some time. In the last few years in particular, this area has developed from being a side issue to a central component in the debate on architecture and urban development. The Konradin-Verlag in Leinfelden has responded to this growing interest by launching metamorphose: the first specialist magazine dedicated exclusively to this subject.
The layout design features a flexible grid for the typography, which clearly divides opinion pieces from features. A narrative textual layout featuring longer lines, as is used for example in books, was deliberately chosen. In this way, emphasis is placed on the opinion that is being represented. Both structure and content of the magazine are designed in such a way as to enable swift comprehension on the reader’s part. The colouring of the page edges also serves as an aid to comprehension. A dedicated colour has been assigned to each subject area, thereby guaranteeing quick and simple orientation within the magazine. Each page itself is captured by means of a coloured frame. In the top left corner of the left-hand page of each spread, a stylised arrow serves as a running subject tab, and at the same time reflects the front cover design. The start of each new project article is underscored through an inversion of the page design. The colour palette selected for this purpose is oriented around Le Corbusier’s colour collections, thereby honouring this great architect of the classical modern.
A clear, geometric linear antiqua font was chosen, which displays good readability characteristics in continuous text and gives the magazine its unique typographical look. At the same time this font satisfied the editors’ desire for an economical, space-saving font. This creates the basic requisite for an airy layout, leaving lots of space for free design. The image grid was kept exceptionally flexible, so as to be able to react to different masters and motifs, and keep the original format of illustrations to an as great a degree as possible. In this way even the stark contrast between original and building site images with images of the finished project results in a coherent whole.
The passepartout makes it possible to lend additional graphic depth to planning graphics or selected motifs. The stylised arrow on the front cover represents a particular view or perception of a building project. At the same time it serves to reflect the processual and planning moment in the redevelopment and modernisation of historical environments. Depending on the particular cover illustration, the area taken up by the arrow can be located anywhere on a vertical axis along the left edge of the cover page. The cover motif is deliberately partly hidden by the expansive arrow, conveying the impression that it is designed to hide something that has perhaps not yet reached completion. The viewer’s curiosity is thus aroused, as is his desire to seek answers within the magazine’s pages. metamorphose is published six times a year.