The borough of Queens has long been celebrated as the melting pot of America. It was the birthplace of North American religious freedom in the seventeenth century, hosted two World’s Fairs in the twentieth, and is currently home to over a million foreign-born residents participating in the American experience. In 2013, Spanish-born artist and architect Rafael Herrin-Ferri began to paint a portrait of the “World’s Borough”―not with images of its diverse population, or its celebrated international food scene, but with photographs of its highly idiosyncratic housing stock. While All the Queens Houses is mainly a photography book celebrating the broad range of housing styles in New York City’s largest and most diverse county, it is also a not-so-subtle endorsement of a multicultural community that mixes global building traditions into the American vernacular, and by so doing breathes new life into its architecture and surrounding urban context.
Rafael Herrin-Ferri is a Spanish-born architect/artist living in Sunnyside, Queens. He received a B.Arch from Cornell University in 1996 and has lived and worked in San Francisco and Barcelona before settling in New York City in 2003 with his wife and daughter.