Customer Reviews: Constructing Architecture: Materials, Processes, Structures
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on June 11, 2006
The English title might be misleading--this book is not about 'construction', but rather about what the Germans call Baukunst, the art of construction, or the art of 'putting buildings together' (com-posing buildings), considering the spatial and cultural orders as inseparable parts of that putting things together.
The book provides a structured approach to the basics of contemporary architectural composition, several essays introducing fundamental concepts and giving you the bibliography to go into them in detail (the key part is making them all fit into an overall framework, and pointing at the sources that normally take years to discover), and illustrate several remarkable buildings in remarkable detail, with excellent descriptions reaching a depth and quality of analysis unfortunately missing in typical architectural publications.
Andrea Deplazes, the editor and author or co-author of many of the articles, teaches at the Zurich ETH (and I would guess the same must be true for the authors of most of the other articles), which for well over a hundred years has been one of the few true schools of architecture in the world. The book glows with the power of this accumulated knowledge developed in a true academic environment since the times of Semper. It also gives a glimpse at how the ETH consistently produces first class ordinary architecture, and for that matter first class extraordinary architecture too.
This book will be of huge value to every architecture student, teacher, and architectural designer. I bought it by a fortunate mistake --I thought a construction book from the ETH was sure to be an excellent reference book on technology, and the mail delivered a treasure trove of architectural knowledge instead.
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on June 11, 2007
I have reviewed many attempts at a comprehensive description of the complex subject of architecture, and this is the best. This book is far better than the exhaustively recommended Francis Ching (all due respect), and even better than Unwin's Architectural Notebook, which is also excellent. This is the very first book I would recommend for any serious architecture student. It covers tectonics and construction in elegant detail but, even more importantly, this book delves into the conceptual intentions behind the tectonics, at every scale. Telling examples, well chosen, illuminate the ideas, and the case studies feature some of the finest contemporary architecture in the world today. Simply the best.
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on March 19, 2006
I purchased this book for a construction class and as an architecture student, I find it very helpful. The book is not a construction how-to and the images are not very detailed nor are any of the images in color, but it is a compilation of a variety of architectural examples that use different or innovative construction methods. A great supplement to a studio course for inspiration and incorporating interesting structure into projects.
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on January 27, 2012
As someone already mentioned, it is a good book but, the print quality is bad. In a book store in Spain, I saw the same book. It was a lot better in quality of paper and print resolution. The version I received through Amazon in the US is printed in the US and, unfortunately, a lot of details are lost because of low resolution of printing. Whatever the reason is, it is bad. The book is very well written. The publisher should print better using better quality of paper. It is a shame.
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on March 17, 2012
The physical copy of this book is gorgeous with elegant drawings and rich with inspiration for any student/ architect/ person interested in construction tectonics. It is also on beautifully weighted paper and well illustrated. I unfortunately, wanted an instant copy that I could travel with and decided I could handle the Kindle version. Please don't buy it- It is awful. Although there are those who will say this is the problem with Kindle etc etc I have other books and think they are fine. It's just this one- The kindle does not do it justice and the quality of the quite frankly the equivalent of a an amateur scanning session. Buy the paperback version. I have learnt my ways and done so..
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on May 25, 2008
Excellent book, everything you wished to know about construction, it's there explained, in theory, in in technical drawings, and with images of contemporary buildings.
The way it is organized is very straightfoward, good index, with all themes and sub-themes making sense.
One of the buys of the year for me...
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on May 30, 2011
I wish I had this book during my architectural degree. Best architectural book I've ever found. Amazing range of details, perfect expalantions, clear, inspiring, perfect. A must for any architect. Buy this now. A degree in a book.
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on December 4, 2012
"Constructing architecture" is excellent for architects and students. It presents a broad and contemporary review of materials, technologies and processes and provides information and opinion essays about the cultural and historic aspects of technology. Moreover, some projects and interesting built examples are documented with focus on each material (masonry, concrete, timber and steel). The structure is logical: materials, elements, structures, buildings, and components. However, the last chapter could be slightly improved with additional information about standards and quality systems. With this book in hands, the architect and the student are confronted with an idea sometimes forgotten: "Good architecture is good construction". To sum up: It should be on the shelves of every architecture library.
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on March 17, 2010
This great and useful book is printed so badly, that makes wanto to write to the authors and Birkhauser to ask for your money back. It is basically a low def scan. Anything that is not a line drawing is plainly illegible.
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on June 25, 2015
Bad printing, many figures are not in well resolution. For an architectural handbook, the clearly readable reference drawings are so essential and must be printed in high quality.
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