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Zen Architecture: The Building Process as Practice by [Discoe, Paul]
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Zen Architecture: The Building Process as Practice Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

ZEN ARCHITECTURE The Building Process as Practice

Paul Discoe with Alexandra Quinn

Photographs by Roslyn Banish

In Zen Architecture: The Building Process as Practice, Paul Discoe shares the result of over forty years of study, design, building, and Zen Buddhist practice. From simple hand sketches to the completion of Zen temples, residential projects, grand estates, and modular structures, this book illustrates a singular vision influenced by traditional Japanese woodworking, contemporary life, and Buddhism. With a commitment to the environment and a deep respect for wood, his primary building material, Paul Discoe's work incorporates sustainable practices and recycled materials. Experience the architectural process as an embodiment of Zen practice through skillful craftsmanship, ancient woodworking techniques, and the integration of contemporary engineering and living standards.

An ordained Zen Buddhist priest, Paul Discoe studied art history and philosophy as an undergraduate in the United States and Buddhist temple design and construction in Japan. He became a student of Suzuki Roshi at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California, and, after four years, Suzuki sent him to Japan to train under a traditional master builder for five years. Upon returning, Discoe founded Joinery Structures in 1988. His projects include the Kojin-an Zen temple in Oakland for Akiba Sensei, the founder's hall and kitchen at Tassajara, the Lindesfarne guesthouse and Wheelwright Center, and the abbot's house at Green Gulch, as well as several prestigious homes and projects internationally. His current project is a system of prefabricated building parts, made of salvaged and recycled materials, that can be assembled in many forms.

The featured Zen architecture of Paul Discoe:

- Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

- Green Gulch Farm

- City Center

- Felsentor

- Kojin-an-Zen Temple

- Occidental Road House

- Wall Road House

- Northern California Guesthouse

- Woodside Home and Garden Complex

- Manhattan Loft

- Rikyu Kit of Parts

- Cardboard Zendo<./p>

Alexandra Quinn is a freelance arts management consultant, writer, and editor living in San Francisco. Her publications include Candy Story, translated from the French novel by Marie Redonnet.

Roslyn Banish is a San Francisco-based photographer. She has authored a number of documentary books, combining photographs and text. Roslyn received a master's degree in photography from the Institute of Design in Chicago.

About the Author

An ordained Zen Buddhist priest, Paul Discoe studied Art History and Philosophy as an undergraduate in the United States and Buddhist temple design and construction in Japan. He became a student of Suzuki-roshi at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California, and after four years, Suzuki sent him to Japan to train under a traditional master builder for five years. Upon returning, Discoe founded Joinery Structures in 1988. His projects include the Kojin-an Zen temple in Oakland for Akiba Sensei, the Founder's Hall and Kitchen at Tassajara, the Lindesfarne Guest House and Wheelwright Center, the Abbot's House at Green Gulch, as well as several prestigious homes and projects internationally. His current project is the Sonoma Mandala project on Sonoma Mountain in California, which will be a significant Zen temple complex in North America.



Alexandra Quinn is a writer, editor, and freelance arts management consultant living in San Francisco. Her publications include exhibition catalogs, educational guides to museum exhibitions, and Candy Story, translated from the French novel by Marie Redonnet.



Roslyn Banish is a San Francisco-based photographer. She has authored a number of documentary books, combining photographs and text. Roslyn received a Master's degree in photography from the Institute of Design in Chicago.


Product Details

  • File Size: 9555 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith (September 10, 2008)
  • Publication Date: September 10, 2008
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001PGXD1Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,199 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover
The principles of Zen Buddhist philosophy as applied to architecture and interior design have been a particular area of professional interest for architect, builder, and ordained Zen Buddhist priest Paul Discoe. With the assistance of Alexandra Quinn, he has written "Zen Architecture: The building Process As Practice", a compendium of information and insight into the study, design, and building of structures ranging from Zen temples and residential projects, to grand estates and modular structures. Profusely enhanced with the full color photography of Roslyn Banish, "Zen Architecture" also features floor plan sketches, landscaping embellishments, and occasional quotes from Zen masters. As beautiful and informative as it is inspired and inspiring, "Zen Architecture" is a welcome addition to the growing body of architectural, interior, and landscaping design literature, and a highly recommended acquisition for personal, professional, academic, and community library reference collections.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a good book of that retells the creative construction directions of the author, along with some wonderful pictures of the completed works. It is not a how-to book, but a good read and inspiration of what can be here today.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has some beautiful examples of adapted Japanese design for Western modes, schematics of traditional Japanese structures, great thoughts about building, craftsmanship, and the integration of design aesthetic with mindfulness and a concept of excellence.

My only criticism is that some of the photography could be better, looks like a cheap digital camera rendered crudely (hopefully, the book will see a re-print and this will be fixed).

I also give Mr. Discoe high marks for his dust jacket photograph, one of the best I have ever seen.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
More the story of a Zen builder coming into his craft than a typical architecture book, though some of the spaces and projects are beautiful (I especially liked the bridge). Most of the discussion has to do with 'how and why you build this particular thing in this way for a zen monastery/community', so not as applicable generally, but if you're interested in modern rustic architecture, how communities are supported by their physical structures, or how a group of people who aren't necessarily skilled can engage in making a building, the author of this book has some interesting experience to offer.
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