Circle Houses

Circle Houses

Author(s): David Pearson

Publisher: Chelsea Green (October 1, 2001)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1890132861

ISBN-13: 978-1890132866

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Nature is filled with circles and animal homes are no exception. From bird nests to beaver lodges, it’s difficult for find an angle. Nomadic people continued the pattern. Round-shaped homes, echoing natural forms, have sheltered human families since the dawn of recorded time. Given this bias toward circles, it’s surprising how unusual circular houses are in industrialized society. In our disconnected world, the circle has given way to the box.

As David Pearson explains in his introduction, “Like our nomadic ancestors, many of us have a deep yearning to roam with the seasons and be close to nature and the cosmos. The traditional forms of the yurt, tipi and bender are the apogee of this experience. . . . Nomadic populations live in some of the most inhospitable and barren regions of the world and this is why they are nomads. Whether it be the deserts of the Sahara and Gobi, the steppes of Mongolia, or the polar tundras, these vast areas are either too hot and arid or too cold and windswept to be cultivated. An African grass-covered hut, a Romany gypsy ‘bender,’ an Asian yurt, or a Native American tipi are all perfect lessons in appropriate design and sustainable building. Refined over generations, they are simple yet sophisticated, beautiful and comfortable.”

Remarkable for their economy, resilience and portability, these structures have continued to exert a powerful appeal in modern times. And beyond practicality, what the circle dwellers in this book speak of most eloquently is the incomparable spiritual resonance of round homes, which “represent the universe in microcosm: the floor (Earth), the roof (sky), and the hole in the roof (the sun).”

Circle Houses is a fascinating glimpse of tradition meeting timelessness, filled with stories of 21st-century nomads and complete with basic instructions for designing and constructing your own yurt, tipi or bent-frame tent.

About the Author David Pearson is an architect and the author of several acclaimed books on natural design.

Hardcover, 95 pages

The Architecture of Affordable Housing

The Architecture of Affordable Housing

Author(s): Sam Davis

Publisher: Univ California Press

ISBN: 0520208854

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The Architecture of Affordable Housing

Paperback, 220 pages
Publication date: June 1997

From Booklist , 04/15/95:
The architecture of affordable housing has assumed as many forms as the very nomenclature. Davis presents a history of poor, low-income, social, and subsidized housing using examples of Frank Lloyd Wright, the WPA, and contemporary case studies in the most expensive state in the union, California. These examples illustrate that while the beliefs surrounding affordable housing have changed, the need has been steady, if not growing. They also illustrate many myths, one being that affordable housing most often isn’t any cheaper to build than market-rate housing. The in-depth documentation of the community planning process shows just how passionate the contesting parties are and how complex the issues have become. While not offering Wright’s technical secrets on cost cutting, the California case studies lend the book a credibility from which both laypeople and architects can benefit. But, ultimately, the 10 award-winning projects the author presents as evidence of good architecture fulfilling a social need skirt the real issue: Why is it that award-winning projects can turn into unlivable places and that less attractive ones can be wonderful places to live? While the book is valuable, Davis does not address the issue of place-making and community, which many believe is the heart of the affordable housing crisis. Copyright© 1995, American Library Association. All rights reserved

Synopsis:
Architect Sam Davis contends that a country of wealth that cannot provide sound housing for those in need is a national embarrassment. Here Davis explores the design possibilities of dignified affordable housing for those not served by the private sector and how that housing could fit comfortably into our communities. 108 illus.

Table of Contents
Introduction
1. The Architect and Affordable Housing
2. The Process: The Long and Winding Road
3. Why Affordable Housing Isn’t
4. Design: Things Big and Small, Far and Near
5. Is Affordable Housing Significant Architecture?
Afterword
Notes
Illustration Credits
Index

Good Neighbors : Affordable Family Housing (Design for Living)

Good Neighbors : Affordable Family Housing (Design for Living)

Author(s): Tom Jones, William Pettus, Michael Pyatok

Publisher: McGraw-Hill

ISBN: 0070329133

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Good Neighbors : Affordable Family Housing (Design for Living)

Hardcover, 240 pages
Publication date: December 1996

Design family housing that only looks like it cost a fortune. Discover how America’s most creative, resourceful builders and communities are solving affordable housing problems by applying the design and construction techniques detailed in Good Neighbors: Affordable Family Housing by Tome Jones, William Pettus, and Michael Pyotok. Filled with real-life examples ranging from small towns to inner-city locations, this hands-on resource gives you a brief history of affordable housing in the USA and shows you how to develop these units with a mix of government and private financing, you get revealing profiles of people who live in affordable housing. . .essential data on the factors that influence affordable housing design. . .and dozens of illustrated case studies of developments from coast to coast. The book showcases the work of William Tawn Associates, Cooper Robertson Partners, Marquis Associates, Solomon, Inc. and other innovative firms.

 

Synopsis:
Based on the lauded AIA Design for Housing initiative and supported by an NEA grant, here is the first truly authoritative guide to modern affordable housing design. This landmark book provides architects, landscape architects, planners, developers, advocates, government officials, and policy makers with workable answers for the design of affordable, anesthetically pleasing housing.