img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="")

Tech reads: Down to the nitty gritty with technical titles

Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Site analysis, render and five main construction materials are covered in this month’s selection of new publications

100 Site Analysis Essentials: An Architect’s Guide
Peter Farrall and Iain Jackson. RIBA Publishing. 258pp PB £28

The authors, both professors at the University of Liverpool School of Architecture, approach site analysis in a rigorous and thorough way. A short overview is followed by chapters on Context/ Routes/ Environment/ Groupings & Usage and Interface. These are all colour coded and, handily, tips are cross-referenced throughout, so tips are not just read in isolation. Yes, great for students, but perhaps a good aide-memoire too for the world-weary architect to remind them why they chose the subject in the first place.

About Render: Designing and Realising Plaster Surfaces
Annette Spiro, Hartmut Göhler, Pinar Gönül eds. Edition Detail. 378pp PB £64

This beautifully compiled book gives a full historical and technical picture of this most simple and ancient building method. Sections are broken down into renders used on different wall types, their uses all illustrated using contemporary case studies from Europe, depicted in photographs and details. Most charming of all is the pull-out poster illustrating 85 different types of plaster application, from the very finest, through to ‘sculptural’ thicknesses. A fascinating taxonomy of what’s possible with the medium.

Hybrid, Masonry, Timber, Concrete, Steel
Daniel Mettler, Daniel Studer & Irene von Meiss-Leuthold. Birkhäuser. 128pp HB £37

On the face of it, this is a book of 25 contemporary Swiss projects which all showcase the five construction materials in the title – but with no contents page you might struggle to realise that. Inside, the green of the cover repeats as a wash on a photo spread to introduce each project and its architect, followed by a lovely 1:15 isometric of that building’s fabric. No description of any of the materials beyond this sizeable line drawing; plus three short essays at the back, set in large font and, er… that’s it. Seductive layout on gorgeous, glossy paper, but perhaps a triumph of form over content.

Buy from


Rescue and restore a Willliam Adam-designed villa, create an outdoor installation ‘filled with play, wonder and delight’, imagine a multifunctional exclusive/inclusive complex that serves client and community - some of the latest architecture contracts and competitions from across the industry

Latest: Bid for phase 1 rescue of Scotland’s first Palladian country house

A journey to Turkey for a summer wedding prompts the Purcell architect to consider aspects of place and time

Joining the dots to make sense of disruption

Emulating the patterns of natural light and our deeply embedded responses to it are central to lighting design, said experts at the RIBAJ/Occhio lighting event

Light and atmosphere are the key to making a magical place

From ancient bog oak to the cruel desert, bodyshop bashing to a power stance class, our flooring selections are here to help specifiers brighten up their interiors

Starting at the bottom – selections to help specifiers brighten up their interiors

A close collaboration between the architect and artist John Booth makes an imaginative and highly coloured exhibition relaying the history of Greenwich Peninsula

Up in Smoke reveals the enduring appeal of the chimney