How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built

Front Cover
Viking, 1994 - Architecture - 243 pages
24 Reviews
Buildings have often been studied whole in space, but never before have they been studied whole in time.
Architects (and architectural historians) are interested only in a building's original intentions. Most are dismayed by what happens later, when a building develops its own life, responsive to the life within. To get the rest of the story - to explore the years between the dazzle of a new building and its eventual corpse - Stewart Brand went to facilities managers and real estate professionals, to preservationists and building historians, to photo archives and to futurists. He inquired, "What makes some buildings come to be loved?" He found that all buildings are forced to adapt, but only some adapt gracefully.
How Buildings Learn is a masterful new synthesis which proposes that buildings adapt best when constantly refined and reshaped by their occupants, and that architects can mature from being artists of space to becoming artists of time. A rich resource and point of departure, as stimulating for the general reader and home improvement hobbyist as for the building professional, the book is sure to generate ideas, provoke debate, and shake up habitual thinking.
From the connected farmhouses of New England to I. M. Pei's Media Lab, from "satisficing" to "form follows funding," from the evolution of bungalows to the invention of Santa Fe Style, from Low Road military surplus buildings to a High Road English classic like Chatsworth - this is a far-ranging survey of unexplored essential territory.
More than any other human artifact, buildings improve with time - if they're allowed. How Buildings Learn shows how to work with time rather than against it.

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Review: How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built

User Review  - Nelson Minar - Goodreads

A fun book, documenting what changes take place in buildings after people live in them, adapt them to their needs. It's an interesting spin on architecture, looking more at how a building works for ... Read full review

Review: How Buildings Learn: What Happens After They're Built

User Review  - Joshua Smith - Goodreads

Decent book, but it got a little too long. I didn't end up finishing it. Read full review

Contents

Flow
2
Shearing Layers
12
The Low Road
24
Copyright

12 other sections not shown

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19th century Acoma Pueblo adaptive adobe Adolph Sutro aesthetic American architects Architectural Digest architecture Arycanda become Boston Athenaeum Brian Eno brick builders building codes building historians building's Buildings Learn built bungalows California Cape Cod house century Chatsworth Chris Alexander Chris Wilson Christopher Alexander Clem Labine client Cliff House command economies computer-aided design conservatism construction contractor cost Danny Hillis David Owen developers Dick York don't door dropped ceiling Duchess of Devonshire ecopoiesis Edge City exterior facade facilities managers Fairbanks House floor Frank Duffy Frank Lloyd Wright garage Gene Logsdon geodesic domes Global Business Network Gothic Revival Greene and Greene Gregory Bateson growing Henry Glassie High Road buildings historic Historic Preservation I. M. Pei idea interior interior design it's Ivan Illich James Gleick James Marston Fitch Jane Jacobs Joel Garreau John Abrams John Gaw Meem John Ruskin Kevin Lynch kitchen later Laura Hartman layers leaks learning Leon Krier Levittowns Lewis Thomas living Lloyd Fairbanks Lloyd Kahn Lloyd's building London Library look Louis Sullivan Low Road maintenance Marinship masonry Massachusetts materials mobile homes Modernist Monticello Montpelier Moudon Mount Vernon National Park Service National Trust old buildings Oregon Experiment organization original owners Pattern Language percent Peter Calthorpe Peter Schwartz planners Pompidou Centre porch preservation preservationists Preventive Maintenance problem real-estate Recommended Bibliography remodeling rephotography replaced Robert Venturi Robinson Jeffers roof San Francisco Santa Fe style scenario scenario planning Sir Richard Rogers Space plan Steelcase Stewart Brand stone Street structure stucco Sylvanus Morley tenants That's they're things timber-frame Tor House Tracy Kidder traditional users vapor barrier vernacular Vernacular Architecture walls whole Wiesner Building wood wood shingles World War II York

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