New Responsible Architecture Books Praise Humble and Harmonious


Two new books being released by Rizzoli this fall prove that when it comes to a new direction in innovative sustainable architecture, this could be the start of something small. And not just small, but harmonious as well – the road less traveled in the past, but all pointers head in that direction now. Yes, scaling back and using less is the prescribed mantra for reformed McMasnion resource hogs, and perhaps these new reads will stimulate not only thought but action when plotting new dwellings.

Small Eco Houses: Living Green in Style by Chrintina Paredes Benitez and Alex Sanchez Vidiella, showcases prototypical sustainable lofts, repurposed barns, hip urban apartments and woodsy homes built by innovative architects. “It has a fresh perspective on how smart design can create stylish yet ecologically sound living spaces in small-scale homes,” says the publisher, adding that over 50 spaces are included in the pages. Accompanying the descriptions are color photos and helpful floor plans, supporting how in each case history the architect met challenges for reducing power with solutions such as natural light, cross ventilation and more efficient thermal insulation. They also maximized space with with high ceilings, collapsible furniture and sliding doors. $35, Universe Publishing.


Modern Natural/Natural Modern by Ron Broadhurst includes works by design luminaries across the globe that illustrate how the most creative architects produce structures that relate to their organic, natural surroundings. Among the harmonious examples featured: A square house by the architects Makota Teki and Chie Nabeshima of the Japanese firm TNA; Two ski chalets with contrasting shapes and finishes (one an open dorm with rough finishes and a refined modern take in the the mountain top House on the Rigi by Adreas Fuhrimann and Gabrielle Hachler, AFGH Architecture). We see the works of other known innovators like Kengo Kuma in China, Sean Godsell in Australia and Allied Works Architecture in the United States. This book, too, appeals with exceptional color photography, and takes into consideration the goal of a reduced carbon footprint by way of radically rethinking traditions materials like wood and stone in forging spaces that co-exist blissfully with the landscape –  the way nature intended. $60, U.S Rizzoli.

Image: AFGH Architecture

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.