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A Shelter Sketchbook: Timeless Building Solutions A Shelter Sketchbook:
Timeless Building Solutions

by John Taylor
Paperback (1997)

How-To Editor's Recommended Book.   In a new take on sustainable living and building, John Taylor presents a stunning array of traditional building techniques and housing solutions from around the world and from history.   Most are motivated by available materials, economic necessity, and local climate and terrain.   In this time of growing interest in earth-friendly building techniques, Taylor shows us that we need to relearn many practical aspects of constructing shelter and must blend the technologies of the present with the traditions of the past, with those of other cultures, and even with those of our own grandparents.   Taylor, an architectural designer, has filled this delightful book with remarkable drawings and sketches of building techniques gleaned from his travels; it is a feast for the eyes as well as the brain.

Retreats: Handmade Hideaways to Refresh the Spirit Retreats: Handmade Hideaways to Refresh the Spirit
by Lawson Drinkard
Hardcover (1997)

Retreats: Handmade Hideaways to Refresh the Spirit, by G. Lawson Drinkard III with photographs by Jon Golden. Many of us joke about building that cabin in Idaho where we could go and relax and no one could find us. The subjects of this book have done just that: either built or designed their own havens from the mayhem of modern life. Whether adapted from a pre-existing structure or fabricated from raw materials, these retreats embody that very American ideal of freedom and individual expression. From a Sioux-style tipi to a Mongolian yurt to a converted sheep wagon, the designs and inspirations celebrate finding your own space and using it for what you please: to commune with nature, to embrace solitude, to deal with grief, to simplify life. Not just a how come? but a how-to, Drinkard's narrative explores both the reasons for escape and the practical side of the retreat, explaining materials, permits, location, and purpose. Jon Golden's photographs provide perspective amid the open spaces of the home, the land, and the imagination. Washington Post Book World review

Rustic Retreats: A Build-It-Yourself Guide Rustic Retreats: A Build-It-Yourself Guide
by David Stiles, Jeanie Stiles
Paperback (1998)

This is a delightful book that promises to deliver loads of fantasy and fun for anyone in need of a rustic place to rest, relax, and retreat from the speed and stress of modern living. The Stiles provide more than 20 step-by-step plans for low-cost outdoor buildings, among them a grape arbor, a hillside hut, a water gazebo (floating!), a log cabin, tree houses, a wigwam, a garden pavilion, a yurt, and a river raft. A bit of individual creativity can make any of the plans described and diagrammed into unique personal statements or fantasies. Many of the plans are so simple they can be built in a few hours or in less than a day, and most do not require high levels of carpentry or building skills (though all will be useful as "learning projects" for the uninitiated). If you built forts as a kid -- or wanted to -- here's your chance to play at it again as an adult! -- Mark Hetts

Earth to Spirit: In Search of Natural Architecture
by David Pearson, William McDonough
Paperback (1995)

Harmony of nature and Technology.  Earth to spirit explores classic habitats from all corners of the world, and introduces us to the basic, and common shelter needs of us all. Although the book concentrates more on rural, and ethnic dwellings, Pearson also shows the adaptations relevant to Western cosmopolitan life. To often an author is either "high tech" or "green". In Earth to Spirit, we see how it is possible to live in an ecologically sound dwelling, while maintaining and incorporating the modern technologies prevalant in modern homes. A reader from New Zealand, 1998

Places of the Soul: Architecture and Environmental Design As a Healing Art Places of the Soul:
Architecture and Environmental Design As a Healing Art

by Christopher Day
Paperback (1993)

At a time when the environment is increasingly under the spotlight, "Places of the Soul" examines how people can reinstate the human factor in the building equation.
Challenges conventional building and design practices and demonstrates how our built environments can be made physically, socially, and spiritually enriching.