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Local Architecture: Building Place, Craft, and Community
     

Local Architecture: Building Place, Craft, and Community

by Brian Mackay-Lyons, Robert McCarter (Editor)
 

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In architecture, as in food, local is an idea whose time has come. Of course, the idea of an architecture that responds to site; draws on local building traditions, materials, and crafts; and strives to create a sense of community is not recent. Yet, the way it has evolved in the past few years in the hands of some of the world's most accomplished architects is

Overview

In architecture, as in food, local is an idea whose time has come. Of course, the idea of an architecture that responds to site; draws on local building traditions, materials, and crafts; and strives to create a sense of community is not recent. Yet, the way it has evolved in the past few years in the hands of some of the world's most accomplished architects is indeed defining a new movement. From the rammed-earth houses of Rick Joy and Pacific Northwest timber houses of Tom Kundig, to the community-built structures of Rural Studio and Francis Kéré, designers everywhere are championing an architecture that exists from, in, and for a specific place. The stunning projects, presented here in the first book to examine this global shift, were featured at the thirteenth and final Ghost conference held in 2011, organized by Nova Scotia architect, educator, and local practitioner Brian MacKay-Lyons. The result is the most complete collection of contemporary regionalist architecture available, with essays by early proponents of the movement, including Kenneth Frampton, Juhani Pallasmaa, and Pritzker Prize–winning architect Glenn Murcutt.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/01/2014
In 1994, “frustrated with the state of architectural education,” McKay-Lyons, then a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, took a group of his students to a remote corner of Nova Scotia for an internship program to reinforce “students’ sound intuition that architecture has always been about landscape, making, and community.” The program became the Ghost Architecture Laboratory, and this book gives a taste of the institution’s culminating event: Ghost 13, a conference/reunion of architects, historians, and students devoted to “ideas in things.” The book includes photographs of the participants’ work, essays on the significance of the event, and keynote speeches by Kenneth Frampton, Glenn Murcott, and Juhani Pallasmaa—the last of whom argues that Le Corbusier’s house-as-machine needs to be replaced with biological models and that we need a “new concept of beauty… the beauty of human reason and ethics.” Although those unfamiliar with these architects may find the minimal descriptions of their projects, which make up the bulk of the book, exasperatingly uninformative, this document records an important moment in architectural history that will be of interest to professionals—and anyone concerned with the future of architecture, its revitalization, and its relevance to the most pressing issues of our time. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Local Architecture records an important moment in architectural history that will be of interest to professionals-and anyone concerned with the future of architecture, its revitalization, and its relevance to the most pressing issues of our time." -Publishers Weekly
Library Journal
★ 03/01/2015
This book records a three-day conference titled "Ghost 13: Ideas in Things" held in 2011 in Kingsburg, Nova Scotia, to honor 15 years of the Ghost Architectural Laboratory led by MacKay-Lyons, who still serves on the faculty of the Dalhousie School of Architecture in Halifax. This laboratory worked like Glenn Murcutt's Master Class in Australia and Samuel Mockbee's Rural Studio in Alabama to foster student interest in actual, practical construction rather than theory. The laboratory lasted two weeks each summer starting in 1994 as internships for international design-build students to help them pragmatically with their education in architecture. Collectively, the interns helped assemble a complete campus on the author's farm in connection with his firm, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects. All this work echoes Giambattista Vico's famous aphorism verum ipsum factum ("we only know what we have made"). This volume includes 25 pages of keynote addresses by well-known faculty such as Kenneth Frampton of Columbia University, 150 pages of related structures around the world edited by Robert McCarter (architecture, Washington Univ. in St. Louis), and 40 pages of inspiring essays by international scholars such as Essy Baniassad (architecture, Chinese Univ., Hong Kong). The conference and the book were valuably supported by Canada's Council on the Arts. VERDICT A wonderful beginning reader for architecture students.—Peter S. Kaufman, Boston Architectural Ctr., MA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616891282
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press
Publication date:
12/16/2014
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Brian MacKay-Lyons is principal of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects and a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia

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