Earth Architecture: From Ancient to Modern / Edition 1

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From ancient forts in New Zealand to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Earth Architecture ranges across the globe, covering more than 6,000 years of human history.


William Morgan, a practicing architect and published author, has created an invaluable compendium of environments shaped by the manipulation of one of the most fundamental building blocks available: earth. This splendidly illustrated volume contains intricate, detailed descriptions of more than fifty sites, written in non-technical language that will appeal to a broad range of readers.


Mounds, shaped hills, and terraces are only a few of the categories of structures Morgan systematically examines as he surveys everything from semi-subterranean dwellings to large-scale engineering projects. His exhaustive look encompasses a 4,200 B.C. settlement in the Negev and a contemporary performing arts pavilion in California. In addition to the unknown master builders and engineers from ancient times, works of modern architects including Le Corbusier, Frank Gehry, and Frank Lloyd Wright appear in these pages.


Morgan's focus on the architectural uses of earth in shaping societies and communities suggests implications for contemporary architecture, and the sites discussed offer numerous precedents for sustainable design, energy conservation, and environmental enhancement.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Morgan (Precolumbian Architecture in Eastern North America), a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and president of an architectural practice based in Florida, defines earth architecture as "a study devoted to the architectural uses of the earth in shaping the environment of humankind." Each chapter reviews a human-created earth form-"Mounds," "Shaped Hills," "Earth Retained," "Terraces," "Platforms," "Excavations," "Modified Earth," "Water Retained," and "Cities"-and includes a brief overview of the earthwork followed by specific examples of earthen structures, which range from religious centers and homes to memorials and public spaces. Information provided about structures includes textual descriptions, histories, photographs, area sizes, approximate years of construction, and model drawings. Examples are drawn from around the globe and date from ancient to contemporary times, e.g., Persepolis near Shiraz, Iran, and the Concord Pavilion concert venue in Concord, CA. This survey will be of interest to patrons studying architecture, anthropology, archaeology, and sustainable building practices. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
—Valerie Nye

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813032078
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 5/25/2008
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 180
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

William Morgan, FAIA, president of the Jacksonville-based William Morgan Architects, formerly held the Beinecke-Reeves Chair in Architectural Preservation at the University of Florida. He is the author of Precolumbian Architecture in Eastern North America, Ancient Architecture of the Southwest, and Prehistoric Architecture in Micronesia.

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Table of Contents

Foreword     xi
Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction     1
Mounds     7
Avebury Circle, Wiltshire, England
Olmec Pyramid and Plaza, La Venta, Tabasco, Mexico
Adena Burial Mound, Miamisburg, Ohio
Hopewell Octagon and Circle, Newark, Ohio
Trelleborg, Slagelse, Denmark
Lion Mound Memorial, Waterloo, Belgium
Shaped Hills     25
Greek Hillside Theater, Epidaurus, Greece
Babeldaob, Palau, Caroline Islands
Villa d'Este Gardens, Tivoli, Italy
Duke University Stadium, Durham, North Carolina
Corregidor Bataan Memorial, Manila Bay, Philippines
Concord Pavilion, Concord, California
Earth Retained     43
Machu Picchu, Urubamba Valley, Peru
Second Jacobs House, Middleton, Wisconsin
Expressways, United States
New Cemetery Proposal, Urbino, Italy
Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Spencertown House, Hudson Valley, New York
Terraces     61
Hatshetsup's Mortuary Temple, Deir el Bahri, Egypt
Governor's House, Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico
Ifugao Rice Terraces, Luzon, Philippines
Maori Forts, North Island, New Zealand
Middleton Place, Charleston, South Carolina
Marae of Mahaiatea, Tahiti, Society Islands
Platforms     79
Persepolis, Shiraz, Iran
Borobudur, Java, Indonesia
Preah Vihear, Cambodia
Emerald Mound, Natchez, Mississippi
Governor's Icehouse, Williamsburg, Virginia
Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Grapevine, Texas
Excavations     97
Troglodyte Settlement, Safadi,Negev, Israel
Berber Village, Matmata, Tunisia
Zhog Tou Community, Luoyang, Honan, China
Guadix Community, Granada, Spain
East Bank Bookstore, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Beach Cabanas, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Modified Earth     115
Casa Grande, Coolidge, Arizona
Glaumbaer Farms, Glaumbaer, Iceland
Great Mosque, Djenne, Mali
Visions of Paolo Soleri, Scottsdale, Arizona
Earth-dome Housing, Hesperia, California
Studio and Courtyard, Tucson, Arizona
Water Retained     133
Imperial Tomb, Sakai, Osaka, Japan
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Katsura Gardens, Kyoto, Japan
Khajou Bridge, Esfahan, Iran
Land Reclamation Polders, North Sea Coast, Netherlands
Nacimiento Dam, Paso Robles, California
Cities     151
Poverty Point, Floyd, Louisiana
Cahokia, Collinsville, Illinois
Paquime, Chihuahua, Mexico
Taos Pueblo, Rio Grande Valley, New Mexico
Urban Nucleus, Sunset Mountain Park, California
Dam Town Proposal, Pikeville, Kentucky
Afterword     169
Appendix     173
Bibliography     175
Index     179

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