A Queer independent bookshop in Glasgow; an ice cream parlour in Cuba, where strawberry is the Queerest choice; a cathedral in ruins in Nicaragua, occupied by the underground LGBTQIA+ community. 

Queer people have always found ways to exist, gather and celebrate and will always continue to. Therefore, there will always be a need for Queer spaces. 

Celebrated designer Adam Nathaniel Furman and architectural historian Joshua Mardell have brought together a community of contributors to share stories of spaces that range from the educational to the institutional to the re-appropriated, and many more besides. This brand new ‘atlas’ of queer spaces is lavishly illustrated with over 400 full-colour images. 

With over 90 historic, contemporary and speculative examples from around the world, Queer Spaces recognises LGBTQIA+ life past and present as strong, vibrant, vigorous, and worthy of its own place in history. Looking forward, it suggests visions of what form these spaces may take in the future to continue uplifting queer lives. 

Furman says: “Queer Spaces is quite literally a dream come true for me. During a lonely and implicitly, as well as explicitly homophobic architectural education, there were no resources where I could—as a visually orientated dyslexic designer—find accessible histories and case-studies that showed how I was not alone, how what I was doing had a deep and rich history, full of proud individuals and incredible groups, spaces and communities creating radical spaces and ways of living.  

“This book fulfils a very personal hope that there be an easily accessible resource for young Queer designers to quickly see how they are not alone, but are in fact part of one of the great—if uncelebrated—traditions within art and architectural history.” 

The book features a foreword by acclaimed essayist and novelist Olivia Laing. In it, they comment: “’This magnificent book reveals the near-unbelievable ingenuity, courage and skill of queer people in creating conditions for themselves … it is a luminous queer archive-cum-party in its own right, avowedly diverse, multiple and full of life.”  

The spaces explored include the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre in London; famous bookshop Category Is Books in Glasgow; the infamous Christopher Street in New York; Coppelia ice cream shop in Havana; legendary bar New Sazae in Tokyo; the ONE Institute for Homophile Studies in Los Angeles; the enigmatic Santiago Apostol Cathedral in Nicaragua; the Trans Memory Archive in Buenos Aires and the Victorian Pride Centre in Melbourne, amongst many others. 

Queer Spaces is a revelation for anyone interested in queer culture, its influences on the built environment and vice versa. It will be available from 1 May 2022; order your copy from RIBA Books.   

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