Ecological Architecture: A Critical History

Front Cover
Thames & Hudson, 2005 - Architecture - 272 pages
The great untold story of the architectural history of the past century: the movement toward an ecological approach to building.

In a world increasingly awake to environmental damage, the visionaries of the past who championed an environmentally sane architecture are vindicated. Yesterday's eccentricities are today's legal requirements, and every architect has an obligation to the environment as well as to his or her client.

This groundbreaking book charts the rise of this new consciousness, assessing the situation now, and identifying future directions. After an introduction to the terminology of ecological architecturecomparing the use of "green" and "sustainable" as variantsthe book is organized into three parts.

Part One identifies recurring themes in ecological architecture, including energy efficiency, harmonious relationship with the environment, and suitability of building types for specific conditions.
Part Two features over twenty case studies focusing on a specific architect, movement, or area. The inclusion of Le Corbusier, Buckminster Fuller, Rudolf Schindler, and others is a reminder that the sweeping science-led progress that characterized much of the modern movement is not the full story.
Part Three looks to the future and to where ecological architecture might go next as it struggles to deal with global urbanization.

A decisive step in the rewriting of the history of modern architecture, this book will be essential reading for practitioners and students of architecture. As an urgent wake-up call concerning the state of our built environment, it will be of interest to everyone who cares about the future of our planet. 250 illustrations in color and black and white.

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About the author (2005)

James Steele is Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California.

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