ACTAR is a publisher of books on architecture, graphic design, and contemporary art. It was founded in 1994 and based in Barcelona. ACTAR has opened a new architectural debates since its foundation, and has been managed by Ramon Prat. In 2006, ACTAR opened a New York City office for North American sales and distribution. In addition to ACTAR's in-house titles, ACTAR D internationally distributes publications by cultural institutions, Universities and other publishers.
ACTAR acquired Swiss Publishers Birkhäuser Verlag in 2010, turning into the most important company of contents on architecture, under the new name ActarBirkhäuser. Nevertheless, in 2012 Birkhäuser Verlag was sold, this time to the Gruyter, due to the structural changes of the publishing sector, for the effects of the increasing crisis in the sector of the construction, as well as for the enormous irruption of free contents in Internet.
From 2012, ACTAR was acquired in turn by the North American company ACTAR D, turning now into ACTAR PUBLISHERS. Though its catalogue is focused especially on architecture, this one will not leave its assignment since the publishing house was founded on the 90: To fix the riskiest architectural production, which base is in the investigation of other ways of planning and constructing in a changeable society towards the requirements that are asked the architect.
ACTAR's publishing program is focused on the works of established and emerging architects, designers, artists, and photographers. Its books feature collaborations with architects including OMA / Rem Koolhaas, Foreign Office Architects / Farshid Moussavi, MVRDV/ Winy Maas, UN Studio, Massimiliano Fuksas, Diller + Scofidio, Toyo Ito, SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima, Sanford Kwinter, Kazys Varnelis, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Vincente Guallart; designers including VASAVA; photographers including Joan Fontcuberta; and chef Ferran Adrià of ElBulli.
Now entering an exciting new phase focused on the multi-platform development of specialized content through urbanNext, Actar is producing new tools for its global dissemination with new impulses, new proposals, and new goals to expand architecture to rethink cities.
VERB is ACTAR's trademark series for the investigation of current architectural production. VERB BOOGAZINE is a hybrid, thematic publication that aims to combine the heterogeneity and topicality of a magazine with the referential and comprehensive approach of a book. Previous Boogazines include; Crisis, Natures, Conditioning, Connections, Matters, Processing. VERB MONOGRAPH is a user manual that presents an analysis of a building or situation first examined in the boogazine. Previous monographs include From Control to Design, Desert America, Seattle Public Library, Sendai Mediatheque, The Yokohama Project.
FOOD for thought THOUGHT for food, featuring Ferran Adrià and elBulli, edited by Richard Hamilton and Vicente Todoli, (ISBN 9788496954687)
MUTATIONS is a book written by architect Rem Koolhaas and published in 2000, reflecting on the phenomenon of rapid urban mutations.City of Barcelona Prize for Best International Communication (2007)
National Design Prize: General of Catalunya (2005)
Daniel Gil Design Publisher Prize (2004)
ADG-FAD Medal for Best Publishing House (2003)
The LAUS Prize for Graphic Design (six consecutive years, 1995-2000) awarded by the FAD.