Earth Sky Water Home
By Babs Rodriguez
Books on architecture plant seeds for the homes we’d like to live in. They open doors to dreaming, too, encouraging the sort of armchair travel that takes our imagination on vacation. But because the best architects design structures that are inspired by their settings, we especially like books that connect the dots between the natural world and our shelters.
Living in Nature
The natural world and how it is mirrored, reflected and encapsulated in our homes — both in flow and building materials — is a given touchstone in any discussion of modern architecture. The architect-designed homes explored in this book merge such musings with the real-world challenge of creating a house viscerally connected with the elements. The 50 houses featured include stunning locations, earth cocoons and forest canopies. Cooled by surrounding waters or built to withstand the heat of the desert, there is a challenge met in each example and a lot of inspiration, too. $49.95, phaidon.com
Architectural solutions drawn from a project’s natural settings? Nothing is more central to the thought process of Colorado-based CCY Architects. In Connection, the through line for 10 recently completed residences is the link among people, place, lifestyle and good design. Land, light and seasons become building blocks for the award-winning CCY team in ways both enlightening and entertaining. The design solutions cover a diverse slate of homes — from residences set in untouched natural surroundings to those in densely developed neighborhoods. For good measure, there’s a home built in an avalanche path. Mindfulness in architecture defines a respect for the land and its connection to humans. $60, monacellipress.com
50 Lessons To LearnFrom Frank Lloyd Wright
It would be hard to find an aficionado of architecture who isn’t intrigued by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. But a collection exploring how his work applies to our own homes has fresh appeal. Authors Aaron Betsky and Gideon Fink Shapiro make the icon’s designs accessible through “learning points” succinctly outlined in chapters such as “Make a Room Flexible with Screens” and “Creating Livable Interiors with Textiles.” Green design merits a chapter, as does a breakdown of the influences of nature. Wright’s voice, captured in pearls of wisdom gathered from his writings, punctuates the work. The beautifully crafted book includes color photographs by Andrew Pielage. $32.50, rizzolibookstore.com