A-frame

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Princeton Archit.Press, Jun 4, 2004 - Architecture - 207 pages

"A" was the architectural letterform of leisure building in postwar America. Eager to stake out mountain and lakeside retreats, an entire generation of high-end homebuilders and weekend handymen found the A-frame an easy and affordable home to construct; its steeply sloping triangular roof distinctive and easy to maintain (almost no exterior walls to paint!). Fueled by A-frame plans and kits, the style became something of a national craze, with tens of thousands of houses built.

Indeed, the A-frame was an icon for recreation, an acceptable form of modernism (although its origins go back thousands of years), and a convenient tool for marketing a wide range of products, including gas-powered toilets, motorcycles, and canned vegetables; Fisher-Price even made one for children. So popular on the domestic front, the A-Frame was eventually adapted to other building types, from roadside restaurants to churches.

In a fascinating look at this architectural phenomenon, Chad Randl tells the story of the "triangle" house from prehistoric Japan to its lifestyle-changing heyday in the 1960s. Part architectural history and part cultural exploration, A-Frame documents every aspect of A-frame living using cartoons, ads, high-style and do-it-yourself examples, family snapshots, and even an appendix with a complete set of blueprints in case you want to build your own!

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A-frame

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A-frame architecture was a jaunty symbol of the good life in postwar, mid-century America--easily built and architecturally distinctive, tens of thousands of these triangular-silhouetted residences ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter 1
20
Chapter 2
40
Setting the Stage
53
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

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About the author (2004)

Chad Randl is an architectural historian working at the National Park Service. He resides in Takoma Park, Maryland.

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