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The Natural House Hardcover – March, 1954

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Hardcover, March, 1954
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Horizon Pr; 1st edition (March 1954)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0818000074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0818000072
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #844,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Michael B. Brand on November 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
3.5 starts would have been my rating if given that option.
The Natural House is essentially Wrights explanation/defense/sales-pitch for his Usonian houses. The first chapter (Organic Architecture) was written by Wright in 1936 and originally published in The Architect's Journal of London. The next four chapters (Building the New House, In the Nature of Materials: A Philosophy, The Usonian House I, The Usonian House II) were written by Wright and first published in 1943 in "An Autobiography". The remainder of the book was written by Wright in 1953-4.
I found the first 67 pages to be a difficult read. I am not an architect and suspect that an architect would get more out of these first three chapters. These chapters were part autobiography, part history, part philosophy and part contemptuous rant against all architects who were not his own students. Having plodded through those pages, I feel that I could have skipped them.
Suddenly, on the 68th page, the book takes a dramatic turn and becomes a much easier read. This last three-fourths of the book explains Unosian architecture in very accessible terms. There are multiple examples of houses with photographs of exterior and interior views and floor plans. I found the floor plans to be the most beneficial and interesting part of the book and would buy the book for the floor plans alone.
In the explanatory text Wright discusses building location, foundations, lighting, materials, insulation, heating, cooling, furnishings, contractors, etc. Each topic is discussed in fairly general terms, but since Wright's approach is quite different from most other architects, the general explanations are valuable.
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Format: Hardcover
Written in 1954, this short book is somewhat dated but Wright's words and thoughts are universal enough to be meaningful today. Wright's view of "The Natural House" adds cultural understanding to how we build and describes an idealistic precursor to contemporary "eco-building." Required reading for anyone who is interested in the curtural context of the building process.
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Format: Hardcover
I wanted to use The Natural House as a book for a graduate seminar on Frank Lloyd Wright I am teaching this semester at Clemson University. Sadly, it is not in print. This is one of the original treatises on sustainable architecture. Please, someone reprint it! Thanks.
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