XS: Small Structures, Green Architecture Hardcover – Mar 13 2007
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About the Author
Phyllis Richardson is the author of the bestselling XS: Big Ideas, Small Buildings. Her other books include Contemporary Natural, StyleCity London, and StyleCity Barcelona. She lives in London
Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps the biggest problem is that whoever wrote the dust jacket description does not appear to have read the book. "The design goals of the 40 houses included here are to build as small as possible, to harmonize with the site, to use natural heating and cooling techniques, and, above all, to combine aesthetic beauty with ecological sensitivity. The houses are striking in appearance, inexpensive to build, and totally functional, and will serve as inspiration for architects and potential owners."
The book has garden pavilions, sculptures, cameras obscura and treehouses but there is nary a totally functional and inexpensive to build house to be found. That is fine, there are some lovely, innovative and inspiring structures that are worth the price of admission. There are also some of questionable green credentials and others that have been around the block a few too many times.
But while it may be true that "a new generation of architects and builders is creating warm, inviting homes that cause only a fraction of the ecological impact of conventional building methods," they aren't here. The author might have been better served if the blurb said what her introduction does: " almost none of the projects here is an end in itself. Rather, each suggests inroads in a journey to a host of answers."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What this book is really trying to do is push the state of the architectural art just as far as it can be pushed. Here are structures that are ecologically responsible, wildly creative and showcase the advanced thinking that the premier architectural firms can do when removed from the restrictions of building yet another McMansion.
As you look at these structures, some give you ideas that you'd really like to try in your next building, some of the others just look weird and don't fit into anything that seems reasonable.
All in all, I found it a stay up late and look at every picture just to see what they might think of next kind of book.
This book features various type of small structures (i.e. utility structure/summer house etc). What I also liked about the book that it showed projects from around the world and not just a couple of countries. (Though most projects do come from North America and Europe, with one or two from Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia.)
43 projects are in this book, divided into these chapters:
"Views from outside"- small structures with the function on viewing from or to
"Material concerns" - projects that experiment with materials
"urban flowering" - structures that "enhance" the urban fabric or experience
"Touching the earth lightly" - buildings that are portable.
The book dedicates 2-4 pages per project with a short description and background to the project. I didn't find this to be terrible since many of the projects are very small and don't require a lot of photos to depict it. (Though some of the projects I would have really like to see more photos.)
I really like this book and found a lot of the projects to be inspirational and interesting.
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