Adobe: Building and Living With Earth

Adobe: Building and Living With Earth

Adobe: Building and Living With EarthAuthor(s): Orlando Romero, David Larkin, Michael Freeman

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

ISBN: 0395566932

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From Booklist , 10/15/94:
When David Larkin’s name graces a title page, the book is bound to be well designed and full of superb color photographs. His most recent projects include Frank Lloyd Wright: The Masterworks and Barn (1993). Here Larkin has teamed up with Romero, library director for the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe and expert on adobe in particular and southwestern culture in general, to create a picture-rich study of the history, technology, and dignified, sculptural beauty of adobe structures. The oldest of building materials, adobe bricks are made from mud and straw and have been used in Africa, the Iberian peninsula, and all across the Southwest and Mexico. Surprisingly durable if maintained, adobe constructions can last for centuries. Romero and Larkin explain brick-making and remudding techniques, showing both archival photographs of Native Americans at work on their pueblos and photographs of contemporary builders. They also document some of the Southwest’s most famous adobe churches and pueblos, such as the San Francisco Mission Church at Ranchos de Taos and the wondrous mesa-crowning Acoma Pueblo, as well as a selection of lesser-known buildings. Special attention is paid to interior decorative detail and to adobe’s intrinsic connection to the landscape.

The use of earth as building material is as old as civilization itself. For the 20th-century American, the process is most familiar in the sun-dried brick called “adobe” and the style characteristic of the desert Southwest. Here is the story of adobe, from Asia and North Africa to New Mexico and the fabulous homes near Taos. 200 color photos; line drawings.

Booknews, Inc. , 12/01/94:
This mouthwatering documentary and visual history of adobe structures encompasses their geographical, esthetic, and historical dimensions. It surveys North African earthen buildings, Hispanic-influenced Native American pueblos and churches of the American Southwest, and the contemporary architecture of Santa Fe and Taos, showcasing interiors, exteriors, and special features in gorgeous color photos (by Michael Freeman). The text is clear and informative. Of interest to a wide audience of architects, interior designers, and those with an interest in the esthetic, ecological, and economic appeal of adobe. No index.

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