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Shelter Paperback – May 1, 2000
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"It's an inspiring celebration of indigenous, handmade, personal-statement building. Oughta be the first book a freshman architecture student sees."
-J. Baldwin, Whole Earth Review
"How very fine it is to leaf through a 176 page book on architecture - from baliwicks to zomes - and find no palaces, no pyramids, or temples, no cathedrals, skyscrapers, Kremlins, or Pentagons in sight... Instead, a book of homes, habitations for human beings in all their infinite variety."
"Shelter is a must not only for those actively engaged in house building, but for everyone who understands that lifestyle begins at home - that we are, after all, where we live."
"It's time to educate the architects. To that extent this book on shakes and wattle and daub is the most revolutionary architecture book around..."
-Architecture in Australia
"How very fine it is to leaf through a 176-page book on architecture -- and find no palaces, no pyramids or temples, no cathedrals, skyscrapers, Kremlins or Pentagons in sight...instead, a book of homes, habitations for human beings in all their infinite variety."
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a big, oversize paperback the size of a road atlas. Every page packed with great drawings, photos or diagrams. I never get tired of browsing through the pictures, reading some of the stories, and getting inspiration to go out and build a shelter, a home, for a planned or unplanned need to build a place to live; this book covers expedient shelters of many types.
I have yet to see a better book on this subject, it is simply a fantastic reference and a joy to read. This is not a book simply on construction methodology, this is a book about people building shelter to reflect available materials, tools, budget, and most of all culture.
It liberated me.
Here was a bunch of common folk who met one of the most basic needs of all humanity - shelter.
So much of what we encounter in our 'western' enlightened age is alien and regulated. The materials that we commonly use in buildings & infrastruture is devoid of any life or connection with the earth. They are not in or close to their natural state. And even if they are, there is so much regulation and stipulation on how we are to use them.
But this book gives you hope, a chance to dream. It shows buildings as art forms, useful & practical but completely expressive of the owners they serve. They are not bound by regulations and conventions. This is craftsmanship not industrialisation. They are made from from natural unrefined materials which in essence connects us to the earth, which we all belong to. From dust we came, to dust we will all return. The beauty of nature is your own home.
This book is filled with ideas and ways in which people have often 'escaped' from the life draining cities to a more peacuful and harmonious way of life. It's superb photo's, hand illustrations and even the way the book is laid out are a freedom in itself. This is one book you will not regret owning and will always find pleasure returning again and again to.
This book, "Shelter" documents their bizarre housing experiments in wild detail. It also documents curvaceous mud homes in Africa, riverside huts in Yugoslavia, thatched huts in Ireland, homes in busses, homes in caves, dome homes, homes made of car parts, homes carved into mountainsides, homes made of hay, tipis, barns, gypsy tents, and more.
If there's a strange kind of housing, you'll probably find it in here, and you'll probably be inspired by it.
"Building this house was more of like feeling where you went as you started working with it, you know, the material and just playing it from there," said one Placitas hippie interviewed in this book. "...It's like three dimensional sculpturing, you know, we just got into building a house out here that's like jewelry. ...OK, let me put it this way, the inspiration like as we move along through it, like I found it in [Stanley Kubrick's film] 2001, where the dude had finally split out of the satellite and was heading towards Jupiter, just as he was coming in, what they had done was they had used different types of film, infrared for one, and just taken a plane and flown over Grand Canyon at a high speed, low, what is created you know, is in some respects synonymous to what the house is, you know, and certainly our cell structure in our body is synonymous with that...."
As you can probably tell, this is not "Better Homes and Gardens" or even "MTV Cribs." It's "Shelter," and it's a trip.