The Barefoot Architect Paperback – Oct 28 2007
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About the Author
The founder of Bio-Architecture and Intuitive Technology (TIBA), Johan van Lengen has worked since the 1970s for better housing for the disadvantaged. He teaches at the architecture school PUC in Rio de Janeiro.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are so many ideas, drawings and explanations...Amazing. Excellent.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
TBA starts off with a thoughtful design overview which shows how to situate your house, say, to take advantage of the prevailing winds, solar orientation, terrain, and vegetation on your building site. Subsequent chapters cover considerations and methods for building in deserts, jungles, and temperate zones. Granted, not many Norte Americanos will want to build their homes with bamboo, thatch or handmade adobe bricks, but there are plenty of examples of materials and construction techniques that I wouldn't hesitate to use where I live in Northwest Wyoming.
The use of modern insulating, siding, and roofing materials that would be familiar and available to Americans is little discussed. Remember that the primary audience for this handbook resides not in North America/First World, but in the southern hemisphere, where most citizens don't have our economic wherewithal. I would not use a lot of TBA's suggestions in the building of my primary residence, but for outbuildings, walls, gardens, get-away cabins, etc., I would use this book in a heartbeat for my construction bible. Thoreau would have loved it. Perhaps in a post-peak oil world, TBA will become a must-have resource for those of us who have to live more simply and take advantage of the building materials close at hand. Most discussions in TBA readily stimulate one to think of practical uses for the natural resources that surround us all.
Stunning piece of work which is accessible to all those in and out of the field of the built environment.
Although all the principals derive from vernacular architecture, they are still as relevant today as when they were first conceived. The illustrations on each and every page make the brick sized book very easy to flip through. This is a real encyclopaedia of timeless knowledge for all those who care about healthy and appropriate building.
You won't be disappointed.
To give you an idea of how clear and good is the book, from 10 people interested in constructing by themselves or with a company, 9 wanted to get a copy of the book, after looking at it (in spanish ran out few years ago).
However, the settings are underdeveloped areas of the world. After reading this book you could embrace any the study of sophisticated "ecological" systems. You can later keep going with modern ecological proposals, but without losing ground, because you will already know what is the purpose behind that "great material" or "new" technique.