By Victoria Newhouse. The Monacelli Press, 2012, 272 pages. $50. You can’t count off four beats of a twelve-bar blues, let alone flip through an opera score, without being aware that time is one of music’s essential ingredients. Another is space, though notation reveals nothing about it. Harmony, rhythm, melody, and instruments are all negotiable, and shaped by the place where it’s imagined, performed, and heard. Slave songs were pitched to carry across an open field. Beethoven composed his Eroica symphony to rattle the walls of the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. Medieval polyphony depended on the reverberations of
By Richard Olsen. Rizzoli, 2012, 240 pages, $45. Click the image above for details about book mentioned in this review. Handmade Houses takes us on a delightful journey back to the heady and rebellious days of the 1960s and ’70s, when green design—the world of reduce, reuse, and recycle—was sired. Its author, Richard Olsen, is a West Coast architectural writer and editor; he is also the grandson and great-grandson of Norwegian carpenters. This tale is a lot more than hippies and hot tubs, however. Olsen provides a thorough history of the owner-built, woodbutcher movement from places like Big Sur, California,
Monadnock Summer: The Architectural Legacy of Dublin, New Hampshire, by William Morgan. David R. Godine, 2011, 160 pages, $30. Tomorrow’s Houses: New England Modernism, by Alexander Gorlin. Rizzoli, 2011, 256 pages, $65. Together, these very different books on New England houses provide an intimate introduction to American domestic architecture and the values it embodies. Architectural historian William Morgan’s Monadnock Summer focuses on one quietly elite, very small town but explains how the buildings there exemplified some of the aspirations and achievements of the nation. Architect Alexander Gorlin’s Tomorrow’s Houses concentrates on houses in New England built between 1912 (Purcell &
Edited by Nicola Navone. Silvana Editoriale and Mendrisio Academy Press, 2010, 196 pages, $54 Since winning an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004, Diébédo Francis Kéré has continued to garner accolades for his simple yet elegant work in his native country, Burkina Faso. One such honor—the BSI Swiss Architectural Award, given biennially by the BSI Architectural Foundation (a philanthropic arm of BSI Bank), with support from the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio and the Federal Office for Culture in Bern—led to the publication of this engaging book. The international award recognizes architects age 50 or younger who create sustainable
Edited by Marie J. Aquilino. Metropolis Books, 2011, 303 pages, $35 Beyond Shelter hopes to “stir a passion for reform.” It asks architects to claim responsibility for protecting people during natural disasters and shaping policy and rebuilding efforts after humanitarian crises—events that affect nearly 200 million people, mostly in the developing world. “There is still no career path that prepares students to work as urgentistes-design professionals who intervene at a crucial moment in the recovery process to produce enduring solutions,” writes Marie J. Aquilino, Beyond Shelter’s editor and a professor of architectural history at the École Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris.
A follow up to the popular Design Like You Give a Damn (2006), this book covers more than 100 recent humanitarian design projects across the globe, selected and edited by Architecture for Humanity (AFH).
by Harry Charrington and Vezio Nava, editors. Helsinki: Rakennustieto, 2011, 427 pages, $59 Thirty-five years after Alvar Aalto's death, his reputation as one of the giants of modern architecture remains unassailable. While the Euro has replaced the 50 Finnmark notes that carried Aalto's image into every Finn's daily life, his shadow looms large over Finland. For example, the University of Art and Design Helsinki merged in 2010 with the Helsinki School of Economics and Helsinki University of Technology to form a new institution named The Aalto University. As with any iconic figure, there is a constant process of re-evaluation and
by Hicks Stone. New York: Rizzoli, 2011, 336 pages, $85 This biography of Ed Stone by his architect son Hicks is a highly personal story of the rather melodramatic life of an architect who came to exemplify the best and worst of the 1950s. Like his fellow Arkansan, Bill Clinton, Ed Stone's rural roots engendered a Southern charm that propelled him to the center of Washington's inner circle and helped him win the commissions to design the U.S. Embassy in India (1954), the U.S. Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels Worlds fair, and the Kennedy Center (1962). Like Clinton, he had
by Charles Bloszies. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, November 2011, 144 pages, $25 Architectural hybrids are all around us. Most historic buildings are now, in fact, examples of additive architecture. But after the schism of modern architecture, making a claim for additions as valid contemporary architecture amounts to a manifesto. A book on this subject, and about the exciting work being produced right now, is sorely needed. This is not that book. Aiming to “explore the union of new and old architecture,” Old Buildings, New Designs is one of a number or recent publications on the question of re-use. But