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Read better, build better

Landscapes, sustainable timber and sheer architectural simplicity are the themes of this latest collection of books

From Idea to Site: A Project Guide to Creating Better Landscapes
Claire Thirlwall. RIBA Publishing. 228p HB £40​

A guide for the architect looking at best-practice approaches for dealing with the spaces between buildings rather than the buildings themselves. With six chapters roughly following the plan of work, this book acts as a well-illustrated and sign-posted aide-memoire in the design and construction process. Real-life examples are never far away with case studies associated with each chapter. A useful reference for those hoping to ensure that the public space outside a building is not the first casualty of value engineering.



A Handbook for the Sustainable Use of Timber in Construction
Jim Coulson with Iain Thew. Wiley Blackwell. 402p HB £69.95

New technical guidance and fabrication developments update and add to the author's previous texts on timber. And it’s quite a tome– an exhaustive guide on timber’s physical nature, sourcing, types of fabrication, specification, strength grading, physical attributes, as well as behaviours in water and fire. While all pics are in black and white, the tone is engaging, clearly from a writer who knows their stuff.


Building Simply – a Guideline
Florian Nagler ed. Birkhauser. 123p HB £33​

This book wears its heart on its sleeve, with the question of how architecture can create pleasant internal environments across its cover. The book is the result of the author’s firm’s engagement with the Technical University of Munich, using the simplest means on three residential projects. There’s a charming simplicity and minimalism to the text, photographs and drawings, bringing a manifesto-like quality to the book that seems inspirational in itself. And with the three studies – infra-lightweight concrete, solid timber and thermally insulating masonry – there’s something for everyone.




PiP webinar: Architecture for Schools and Education Buildings

Are you a brilliant early-career design professional? We want to recognise your potential

Rising Stars is an opportunity for talented early-career professionals to be recognised

The 1957 modernist Dover Stage Hotel was designed by Hungarian-born Louis Erdi, one of the many refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe being celebrated at an RIBA conference

Dover Stage Hotel, 1957, Louis Erdi

Use of local craftspeople and sustainable innovations helped Jonathan Hendry Architects win planning consent for this 2024 RIBA East Midlands Award-winning house in open country

Local craftspeople help Jonathan Hendry Architects raise rural standards

Studio Partington used Dutch standard Energiesprong to retrofit 63 houses in Sneinton, in a scalable response to the climate crisis that has won it 2024 RIBA East Midlands Sustainability Award

63 retrofitted homes in Sneinton snap up 2024 RIBA East Midlands Sustainability Award