Building into the future

This month’s picks focus on architecture; highlighting some future-focused practises while also reflecting on the industry’s past tragedies and some key contributors to the structures that fill our lives.

Eco-cities : new healthy architecture
“The creation of pleasant living environments that avoid the simple container of human beings and build spaces of coexistence receptive to the needs of users has been one of the objectives of architectural practice for decades. All of them transmit a great sensitivity towards issues such as sustainability, eco efficiency, or the integration and conservation of historical and industrial heritage, using construction methods ranging from traditional techniques to the most modern parametric design systems.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Eco-houses : sustainability & quality of life
“Sustainable design integrates consideration of resource and energy efficiency, healthy buildings and materials, ecologically and socially sensitive land-use, and an aesthetic sensitivity that inspires, affirms, and ennobles…” The construction process affects the environment and surrounding ecosystem.  In order to face these challenges, innovative and varied building strategies have been developed to contribute to the achievement of environmentally friendly homes that are alive and “breathe.” (Adapted Catalogue)

Bold ventures : thirteen tales of architectural tragedy / Broeck, Charlotte Van den
“A prize-winning Belgian poet explores the nature of creative endeavor-the godlike ambition, the crushing defeat of failure-through the stories of thirteen tragic architects. Drawing on a vast range of material, Van den Broeck brings patterns into focus as she asks, What is that strange, life-or-death connection between a creation and its creator? The result is a profoundly idiosyncratic book, breaking ground in literary nonfiction, as well as providing solace and consolation to anyone who has ever attempted a creative act”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Making space : a history of new zealand women in architecture
“Brilliant, hardworking and creative, women architects have made many significant contributions to the built environment, creativity and community of Aotearoa New Zealand.  It canvasses those using architecture to benefit whānau and communities, the careers of women in associated industries, and the determined strategies many have adopted to make the architecture profession a better place for themselves and those who follow them”–Back cover note.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

If walls could speak : my life in architecture / Safdie, Moshe
“Over more than five decades, legendary architect Moshe Safdie has built some of the world’s most influential and memorable structures-from the 1967 modular housing scheme in Montreal known as “Habitat” and the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel, to the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas and the Marina Bay Sands development and extraordinary Jewel Changi airport interior garden and waterfall in Singapore. A book like no other, If Walls Could Speak will forever change the way you look at and appreciate any built structure”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Stalin’s architect : power and survival in Moscow / Sudjic, Deyan
“What would an architect do for the chance to build the tallest building in the world? What would he sacrifice to stay alive in the midst of Stalin’s murderous purges? This is the first major publication on the remarkable life and career of Boris Iofan (1891–1976), state architect to Joseph Stalin. Iofan’s story is an insight into the troubled relationship of all successful architects with power. It is an insight into the key moments of 20th-century politics and culture from a unique perspective, and the personal story of a remarkable individual who witnessed many of the most dramatic turning points of modern history. (Adapted from Catalogue)