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Compact Houses: Architecture for the Environment Paperback – September 20, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Universe; 1ST edition (September 20, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789313499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789313492
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cristina del Valle has a Bachelor in Audiovisual Communication by the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She has combined her studies with various journalistic works in publications of the architecture and design sector. She is currently collaborating actively with a variety of magazines of the sector in the position of project coordinator and is the author of various books including New Bars and Restaurants.

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Customer Reviews

The pictures are beautiful.
John Matlock
In short, this is a hasty compilation for a coffee table book.
Honey West
It gives you ideas and notions.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Andrew B. Hurvitz on October 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
I came across this book and was impressed with the small size, the rigorous editing, the high quality photography and printing. The houses are innovative, practical, imaginative and international. They cover areas from Australia to Japan to New York. What unites them is their ability to be comfortable, elegant, simple and environmentally sensitive. They are for anyone who hopes to cure the McMansion virus.

Trump would hate this book.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Heath Craft on January 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is basically just a coffee table book - plenty of nice pictures but light on substance. If you want detailed (even semi detailed) information on compact design, space saving ideas and the like than look elsewhere.
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74 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Tad on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am a minimalist to the fullest, but this book simply lacks depth. The "blueprints" are hardly viewable, let alone descriptive. Most of the structures resemble eachother and are spare, without furnishings or signs of life. I would recommend the book, "PREFAB" by Allison Arieff for bigger pictures, broader concepts and more in depth explanations. I suppose they were making a point by making the size of the book compact, but the few times I was impressed with a structure I would scour the three or so pages devoted to it and then it was over, leaving me wanting much more. Try classics like, "Pierre Koenig", by James Steele or "Julius Shulman: Architecture and Its Photography" by Peter Gossel. Ta Ta
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
I review a lot of architecture books, and this one more than most makes me want to go out and build a new house. The subject of the book is small houses. It consists of pictures and the story of some fifty houses, all of which are less than 1,300 square feet. Many of them are much less than 1,300 feet, indeed down into the 300-400 square foot size.

I live in a small house -- 900 square feet or so -- that's about a hundred years old. But compared to the layout, the beauty the simplicity of design, mine's a dump. I'm getting the urge to go visit a realtor friend. One thing about these houses is that many of them are on what would be considered hard to build on lots. And such lots tend to be cheap. There's a new architect in town that's fresh out of school and may have more originality than the older guys. Maybe if I give her this book, with a few houses marked. Hmmmmm!

One thing I didn't like, most of the bed rooms are on the second floor. I was in a house once that had a fire. The amount of smoke generated in just a minute or two was incredible. I don't want a bed room upstairs, if necessary I want to be able to close the door to keep the smoke out and get out through a wondow or emergency door.

Other than that, this is a great idea book. The pictures are beautiful. There's not as much detail as I would like, but adding detail would have to mean either fewer houses or bigger book, so I guess it's a nice balance.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pauline James on March 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the wide variety of projects presented. I'm a visual person, so thought there could have been more photos per home to orientate oneself with the accompanying floor plans.

Overall, I return to this book (amongst others of its genre in my collection) because of the celebration of small project design.

This is not for those who dislike modern, minimilistic elevations.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Claire Lussier on November 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is one of my favorites of its kind. Photographs are beautiful and do a good job of capturing the concepts of the houses. The houses featured are innovative but for the most part practical. Obviously these are just more or less over views but they made me want to know more.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a member of the Small House Society I love this book. The houses are small and to the point without all the clutter some small houses tend to have. And as the title says its Compact Houses: Architecture for the Environment. And in an era of McMansions its so refreshing to see small homes that use small lots to make the best use of the land and provide for the most open and airy feeling home. Or for those who like myself love the idea of a 500-800 square foot home in an open field that is environmentally sound but also simple and minimalist this is a great book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carol Stee on July 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Monotonous. Even though the houses in this book are from around the world - Europe, east Asia, Australia, South America, and a sprinkling from North America - every single one is in the minimalist style, mostly boxes and a few oddly shaped things, all with little aesthetic appeal. I learned nothing about the architectural traditions of different parts of the world.

The text doesn't convey much, the floor plans are hard to read and often do not show every floor so it's hard to get an overall feeling of the design, but the book has beautiful photographs and a large amount of material, 420 pages worth. So, if you like to look at pictures of minimalist houses then get this book, otherwise avoid it.
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