The predecessor of Papadakis Publisher, Academy Editions, was founded by Andreas Papadakis in 1967.
The Early Years
In 1964, whilst studying for a PhD in physics at Brunel University, Andreas Papadakis bought a house in Holland Street, Kensington without realising that the shop on the ground floor, then a dry cleaners, could not be used for residential purposes. He decided to open a bookshop.
The Academy Bookshop began as a general bookshop. Its first publications were finely bound limited editions of other publishers’ books but Andreas soon decided that he would prefer to make his own. When Christmas came in 1967 people kept asking for books on Aubrey Beardsley so Andreas assembled images and went to a local printer who had a stock of outsize paper at a very good price. A large paperback resulted, with illustrations but no text. When people complained that the pages were falling out he inserted a notice saying the prints could be framed. When VAT was imposed on posters he added a brief introduction, and the book was still in print when Academy was sold in 1990.
Academy Editions & Architectural Design
In 1971 Academy acquired the Tiranti publishing company and the London Art Bookshop. The London Art Bookshop was moved to No. 8 Holland Street, just opposite the Academy Bookshop, and Andreas set about expanding the combined Academy/Tiranti list. Early publications included Jim Burns’s Arthropods, Roger Billcliffe’s Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Bernard Rudofsky’s Architecture without Architects, Reyner Banham’s Design by Choice, Alphonse Mucha: The Complete Graphic Works, and Rudolf Wittkower’s Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism.
Academy monographs included all the rising stars such as Foster, Rogers and Libeskind as well as architects espoused by the Prince of Wales such as Leon Krier and Demetri Porphyrios. Much of Papadakis’s success lay in assembling a huge portfolio of illustrations, both photographs and drawings, which he could use at little cost in lavishly illustrated books and magazines.
In 1975 Andreas bought the financially troubled Architectural Design (AD) magazine, and in 1977 published Charles Jencks’s The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, which went through six editions. Jencks served as the entrée to a wealth of architectural talent in America and Japan as well as Britain.
Both Architectural Design and Academy Editions continued to publish Post-Modern, Classical and Deconstructivist projects throughout the 1980s. Andreas was also the first to award a prize to Zaha Hadid.
Andreas actively fostered the pluralist debate through seminars, conferences and exhibitions at the Polytechnic of Central London, the Architectural Association, the RIBA, the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt, and through his Academy Forums at the Tate Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts, where he also founded the annual Architecture Lecture.
In 1990, Academy Group Ltd., along with Architectural Design and associated journals (Architectural Monographs, Art and Design and the Journal of Philosophy and the Visual Arts), was sold to VCH Germany. Papadakis left the group at the end of 1992 and was banned by a non-competition clause from publishing for five years. Once this period expired, Andreas founded Papadakis Publisher with his daughter Alexandra.