Green Architecture & design


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Green Architecture & design

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Feb 10, 2007, 9:47pm

good evening all. what books would you recommend on green design? both for professionals and for students (I teach as well as practice).

Feb 26, 2007, 3:45am

I've made a start on Ecological Architecture: A Critical History by James Steele - only a chapter in but it seems like a well written, comprehensive piece of work.

Something perhaps a little more approachable for a student would be Design Like You Give a Damn. It looks great and, crucially, gets across the most important message about knowing when not to Design with a capital D.

Edited: Oct 13, 2007, 3:11pm

I'm getting to know a neighbor of ours, Paul Byrne, who is an architect. When I was in Pasadena, I decided to visit the Gamble House, designed by Charles and Henry Greene to bring a bit more architectural knowledge to my noggin. Well, I bought Paul a book at the gift shop then felt bereft of the beautiful photographs and ordered a used copy of the Greene and Greene Masterworks, published by Chronicle Books with even more gorgeous pictures of their homes.

When I was 23, I was living in Pasadena and I went to visit the Gamble House. I thought it beautiful, but wasn't ready to appreciate it as a work of art. I'd always felt the Gamble House looked Asian or even Norwegian. Now at 47, I've become obsessed by the brothers oeuvres.

As I read the new book, I found out that Charles Greene had moved to Carmel in 1916 and died here in 1957! His studio still stands--on Lincoln and 13th. I must have walked by it a million times when I lived near River School.

And then to realize a friend of mine's father-in-law invited Charles to continue the design of their Carmel Highlands home after the initial architect left the project. Also, the James house, the one that clings to the coastal rocks (just before the highland inn) is a Charles Greene creation. I think Krista Jenson, another Carmel High graduate lived there with her parents.

Not only that. I learned that Charles and Henry were enamored of Chinese furniture and Japanese architecture. I see all kinds of Asian influence in the Southern California creations.

Here, in Carmel, his studio is Italianate, but filled with Chinoiserie. He didn't have the money to do what he did for the affluent in Southern Cal but architects may not want to go all out for their own homes.

His home was referred to as "The Shack" by his children while his studio was more elaborate. The bricks came from a torn down Carmel hotel and Charles had his son clean the bricks and the other children worked to stamp patterns in the interior stucco.

Charles was the dreamer. He was an artist above all. Became a Buddhist of sorts.

Feb 20, 2011, 3:14pm

A recent book from the more traditionalist angle: Green Living: Architecture and Planning.