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Tech reads : Jan/Feb 2017

Words:
Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Looking for something to read?

Pevsner’s Architectural Glossary, 2nd ed.

Nikolaus Pevsner. Yale University Press. 144p HB £12.99

If, in Tolkien-like form, there’s many rings with ‘one ring to bind them’, the analogy with the Pevsner Guides would be the Architectural Glossary, which in effect acts as a key reference document for Pevsner’s Guides to the buildings of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Not that the individual guides don’t provide you with a limited glossary at the end, but here the technical descriptions are indulged over 144 pages, making it a reference work in its own right and the perfect companion and supplement to the Pevsner Buildings series. In this second edition, illustrations by the late great John Sambrook remain and it brings together for the first time in one volume, the full and revised array of architectural terms from Pevsner’s four nations series. 

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Biomorphic Structures: Architecture Inspired by Nature

Asterios Agkathidis. Laurence King. 160p PB £9.99

The latest in the Form + Technique series, whose author is a lecturer in digital design at Liverpool School of Architecture, the book posits itself as a practical, pocket-sized guide to biomorphism, exploring how natural forms and patterns inform both structural and aesthetic design. After learning the surprising fact that the term ‘biomorphism’ was first coined by Goethe, this short book gives the reader a potted history of the subject before focusing on 13 case studies, showing approaches and methods developed by academic institutions and architects. These come under three main headings: water, earth and geological formations, plants and branching systems, and animal structures and properties. Well illustrated, it’s a good primer for those looking for inspiration but, given how fast technology is moving, light on the technical methodologies.

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Future Campus: Design Quality in University Buildings

Ian Taylor ed. RIBA Publishing. 176p PB £40

With the support of the Higher Education Quality Design Forum, the editor, a partner at FCB Studios, has brought together 15 experts to give their comments and reflections on the sector. The central argument is that the quality of learning environments matters to both the staff and students using those spaces – a fact borne out by the number of universities that now use their buildings as marketing tools to sell the academic services in a competitive market. The book is split into four sections covering masterplanning, spaces, design and construction, and value and performance – and is copiously illustrated with up-to-date examples. The end of the book goes into more detail with four specific case studies, and there are good references and bibliography for those wishing to do extra homework.


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