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Butabu: Adobe Architecture of West Africa Hardcover – September 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568984138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568984131
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,859,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...hauntingly beautiful. -- Icon, March 2004

...the dun, buff and biege of BUTABU...is a revelation. -- New York Newsday, November 11, 2003

A beautiful and finely printed book...It is a handsome and scholarly addition to the literature on adobe architecture. -- The Irish Catholic, 10/27/05

James Morris easily takes the palm for the year's most haunting architectural images...breathtaking. -- The New York Times Book Review, December 7, 2003

James's photographs map out that rare experience, a journey into entirely unknown architectural territory. -- The World of Interiors, December 2003

This might be the most important book on vernacular architecture since Bernard Rudofsky's 1964 Architecture Without Architects. -- The Architects Newspaper, December 8, 2003

About the Author

Suzanne Preston Blier is Professor of African Art and Architecture, Harvard University.

James Morris is an architectural photographer who founded Axiom Photographic Agency in London.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Webb on April 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The soft folds and highly textured surfaces of Mali mosques, Niger chiefs' houses and other examples of the African adobe vernacular have lured a succession of hippies with a wobbly sense of focus. So it's a delight to see a photographer who has chronicled the sharp-edged structures of Norman Foster and Richard Rogers bring clarity to such a picturesque subject, and to read such an illuminating essay on its cultural roots. (Michael Webb is the book reviewer for LA Architect magazine.)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Segue Fischlin III on June 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Stunning. After picture book after picture book on 20th century architecture, this book rocketed me out of the modern Western world and deposited me gently within the expressive caress of this timeless adobe architecture of africa. This is a sort of architecture I have NEVER seen in books before. A genuine addition to the vernacular of modern architecture and possibly, a firefly of inspiration for those of us living in empty hard, static and meaningless shells. How to bring the heart and handiwork back into the technological universe?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jedidja Freudenthal on January 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Butabu is a beautifully designed book. It mainly consists of wonderful photographs of delicate buildings and their details. This book is not only a very attractive picture art book but also a study book on West African culture. The clear text in the second part of the book is followed by an extended list of references. Ineke Freudenthal, The Netherlands.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fairly nicely done book. Lots of nice photos throughout the book, with the last part of it telling about all the history of architecture throughout the region where the photos where taken.

What I don't like about the book is that too many of the photos where done in B&W, and also most of them are of public buildings, such as mosques. I would really like to have seen more homes and other private buildings. I have other books on vernacular building that have more photos of homes in Africa than this one does.

So, if your interested in Africa's architectural history and are interested in Adobe construction then this book is probably for you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carol A. Sommers on March 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The architecture of West Africa is beautifully pictured and knowledgeably described in this unusual book. Although the majority of the pictures are in black and white, the essence of this harsh landscape and the buildings constructed to cope with this reality`are beautifully shown. Most of the prominent building types are shown with an emphasis on various mosques.
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