Tag Archives: wood

New Books at the Architecture & Planning Library: Tradition and Modern Design

This week we have many inspiring and intriguing new books at the Architecture & Planning Library. Fall is a time of transition, which might be why I was drawn to books about reworking traditional design and materials to create something modern. These are some of my favorites from the New Books table:

Here, there, everywhere edited by Renny Ramakers and Agata Jaworska is a compilation of 16 projects by design company Droog  in locations ranging from the Canadian Arctic to the deserts of Dubai.  The book includes realistic and purely imaginative projects that address economic, social, and ecological issues at a local level.  Content includes essays, conversations and talks accompanied by photos and illustrations.

Holz = Wood: best of Detail edited by Christian Schittich discusses theory and knowledge about the use of wood as a modern construction material. This book contains thirty case studies of interior and exterior construction projects using wood as the primary design element. Projects are beautifully documented with photographs, floor plans, and cross section drawings.

Village Textures edited by András Palffy documents the concepts and designs of an international study-group on the development of historical village structures in Eastern Austria. Participants planned the addition of thirty housing units for seven sites to test strategies to counter urban sprawl in villages. Photographs and information about the villages are followed by multiple models and site plans.

*Clicking the title of any book in this post will link you directly to the library catalog.

The Artists’ Society’s Pugin

Pugin, Augustus Welby. Details of Ancient Timber Houses of the 15th & 16th Centuries: Selected from Those Existing at Rouen, Caen, Beauvais, Gisors, Abbeville, Strasbourg. London: Ackermann, 1836.

In 1836, Augustus Pugin, England’s renowned Neo-Gothic architect, completed a series of studies that document French timber architecture from the 15th and 16th centuries. “Drawn on the spot and etched” in Rouen, Caen, Beauvais, Gisors, Abbeville, Strasbourg and more, these sketches and etchings largely record timber design details on architectural elements embellishing pubs, manor houses, churches–largely vernacular architecture. From time to time, Pugin sees fit to establish scale and even intimate construction technique. However, as a source, Pugin’s studies tell us more about iconography than construction practices.

Notably, our copy of Pugin’s Details of Ancient Timber Houses of the 15th & 16th Centuries once belonged to the Langham Sketching Society, one of London’s artist collectives which became so popular in the 19th century and an important precursor to the establishment of true professional societies. The circulation manifesto appears fixed to the book’s front binder and establishes basic circulation practices. Interestingly, these “bye-laws” also provide some insight into the activities of the society–“All Costumes or draperies must be returned on the Saturday evening before the Monday on which the draped figure is to be set.”

Library of Congress call number: NA 1042 P755