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Books to keep you in touch with technicalities during the break

Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Books to keep you up-to-date during the Christmas break: from tree to timber with fabulous pics, a study of its architectural and engineering applications – and your New Year’s resolution to become a developer

How to be an Architect Developer
Amanda Baillieu and Gus Zogolovitch. RIBA Publishing 170pp PB £35

Baillieu, founder of the Archiboo website, is also a former editor of the RIBA Journal and Stirling Prize judge while developer Gus Zogolovitch co-ran Solidspace and set up Unboxed Homes, London’s first custom-build developer. So there is some weight behind this unassuming-looking book. In clear language, it draws the architect into the mindset of the developer, from the appraisal to finding land, financing and managing projects, managing risk – even selling properties at the end. It starts where architectural education finishes.

Touch Wood: Material, Architecture, Future
Carla Ferrer, Thomas Hildebrand & Celina Martinez-Cañavate. Lars Müller pubs 304pp PB £40

From the outset, this tome on timber and its architecture is almost as dense as the raw material it comes from. Your journey starts with essays that go from the trees in the forests, to wood’s chemical and material properties. The second half concentrates more on timber’s use in architecture, with more illustrated essays by architects on global projects. Gorgeous examples of considered use of the material, not least the rebuilt grand shrines of Ise and Izumo, are rendered in minimal black and white images. Lovely!

Engineering Nature: Timber Structures
Jakob Schoof ed. Edition Detail 224pp PB £47.50

In Detail’s customary fashion, this book concentrates on the technical realisation of timber structures from around the world – in a generous format layout that allows plenty of space to concentrate on key drawn details as well as GA plans and sections. It breaks chapters into the latest research and technology on the material, as well as recent examples of its application, then moves on to large-span timber roofs and multistorey structures. Great for staying abreast on the fantastic structural and architectural possibilities inherent in this evergreen material.


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