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YA Book Club POSTPONED! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this Saturday's YA book club meeting. We will reschedule and post it here and on our social media as soon as we can. 

Architecture

100 CONTEMPORARY HOUSES

100 CONTEMPORARY HOUSES

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Designing private residences has its own very special challenges and nuances for the architect. The scale may be more modest than public projects, the technical fittings less complex than an industrial site, but the preferences, requirements and vision of particular personalities becomes priority. The delicate task is to translate all the emotive associations and practical requirements of "home" into a workable, constructed reality.

This publication rounds up 100 of the world's most interesting and pioneering homes designed in the past two decades, featuring a host of talents both new and established, including John Pawson, Richard Meier, Shigeru Ban, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Herzog & de Meuron, Daniel Libeskind, Alvaro Siza, and Peter Zumthor. Accommodating daily routines of eating, sleeping, and shelter, as well as offering the space for personal experience and relationships, this is architecture at its most elementary and its most intimate.

About the series

Bibliotheca Universalis -- Compact cultural companions celebrating the eclectic TASCHEN universe!

101 THINGS I LEARNED IN ARCHIT

101 THINGS I LEARNED IN ARCHIT

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Concise lessons in design, drawing, the creative process, and presentation, from the basics of "How to Draw a Line" to the complexities of color theory.

This is a book that students of architecture will want to keep in the studio and in their backpacks. It is also a book they may want to keep out of view of their professors, for it expresses in clear and simple language things that tend to be murky and abstruse in the classroom. These 101 concise lessons in design, drawing, the creative process, and presentation--from the basics of How to Draw a Line to the complexities of color theory--provide a much-needed primer in architectural literacy, making concrete what too often is left nebulous or open-ended in the architecture curriculum. Each lesson utilizes a two-page format, with a brief explanation and an illustration that can range from diagrammatic to whimsical. The lesson on How to Draw a Line is illustrated by examples of good and bad lines; a lesson on the dangers of awkward floor level changes shows the television actor Dick Van Dyke in the midst of a pratfall; a discussion of the proportional differences between traditional and modern buildings features a drawing of a building split neatly in half between the two. Written by an architect and instructor who remembers well the fog of his own student days, 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School provides valuable guideposts for navigating the design studio and other classes in the architecture curriculum. Architecture graduates--from young designers to experienced practitioners--will turn to the book as well, for inspiration and a guide back to basics when solving a complex design problem.

99% INVISIBLE CITY: A FIELD GU

99% INVISIBLE CITY: A FIELD GU

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A NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, USA TODAY, AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER

"[A] diverse and enlightening book . . . The 99% Invisible City is altogether fresh and imaginative when it comes to thinking about urban spaces."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Here is a field guide, a boon, a bible, for the urban curious. Your city's secret anatomy laid bare--a hundred things you look at but don't see, see but don't know. Each entry is a compact, surprising story, a thought piece, an invitation to marvel. Together, they are almost transformative. To know why things are as they are adds a satisfying richness to daily existence. This book is terrific, just terrific."
--Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Stiff, Grunt, and Gulp

"The 99% Invisible City brings into view the fascinating but often unnoticed worlds we walk and drive through every day, and to read it is to feel newly alive and aware of your place in the world. This book made me laugh, and it made me cry, and it reminded me to always read the plaque."
--John Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All The Way Down

A beautifully designed guidebook to the unnoticed yet essential elements of our cities, from the creators of the wildly popular 99% Invisible podcast

Have you ever wondered what those bright, squiggly graffiti marks on the sidewalk mean?

Or stopped to consider why you don't see metal fire escapes on new buildings?

Or pondered the story behind those dancing inflatable figures in car dealerships?

99% Invisible is a big-ideas podcast about small-seeming things, revealing stories baked into the buildings we inhabit, the streets we drive, and the sidewalks we traverse. The show celebrates design and architecture in all of its functional glory and accidental absurdity, with intriguing tales of both designers and the people impacted by their designs.

Now, in The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to Hidden World of Everyday Design, host Roman Mars and coauthor Kurt Kohlstedt zoom in on the various elements that make our cities work, exploring the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes to drinking fountains and street signs. With deeply researched entries and beautiful line drawings throughout, The 99% Invisible City will captivate devoted fans of the show and anyone curious about design, urban environments, and the unsung marvels of the world around them.

DEATH & LIFE OF GRT AMER CITIE

DEATH & LIFE OF GRT AMER CITIE

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A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961, become the standard against which all endeavors in that field are measured. In prose of outstanding immediacy, Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe or unsafe; about what constitutes a neighborhood, and what function it serves within the larger organism of the city; about why some neighborhoods remain impoverished while others regenerate themselves. She writes about the salutary role of funeral parlors and tenement windows, the dangers of too much development money and too little diversity. Compassionate, bracingly indignant, and always keenly detailed, Jane Jacobs's monumental work provides an essential framework for assessing the vitality of all cities.
DRAWINGS AND PLANS OF FRANK LL

DRAWINGS AND PLANS OF FRANK LL

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I would much rather build than write about building, but when I am not building, I will write about building -- or the significance of those buildings I have already built. -- Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright built a body of works and drawings to illustrate and explain his work: collections of designs with commentary that temperamentally parallel that work: irascible, radical, powerful and dense, astonishing and simple in its clarity. One of his earliest published works illustrates the parallel, preserving thought and design at a prophetic moment, shortly before Wright's genius and fame captured two continents and many converts. The Wasmuth portfolio of drawings (named after the original German publisher) is reproduced here from an extremely rare first edition (1910).
Wright's polemical preface indicates the importance he attached to the drawings and their publication: . . . the work illustrated in this volume, with the exception of the work of Louis Sullivan, is the first consistent protest in bricks and mortar against this pitiful waste [academic, inorganic styles]. It is a serious attempt to formulate some industrial and aesthetic ideals that in a quiet, rational way will help to make a lovely thing of an American's home environment. . . . Home environment for Wright was the Midwestern plain; these these drawings, perhaps his earliest experiments in organic design, partake of the Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin prairie with their emphasis on the horizontal (the line of domesticity) and the environmental motif: A beautiful elm standing near gave the suggestion for the mass of the building, Wright says of the Winslow house in River Forest, Illinois, a dwelling he cites as the first embodiment of many of his ideas. Elegant full-page architectural drawings and plans show Wright's atelier in Oak Park, Illinois, many homes, cottages, banks, a burial chapel, Unity Church temple, a concrete house designed for Ladies' Home Journal and numerous studies for buildings, treated as problems in design, that were never built.
The republication of this rare work gives access again to what has been called the single most important collection of work published by Frank Lloyd Wright. Students of American architectural genius will find here the seeds of Wright's greatness.

DREAM CITIES

DREAM CITIES

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From the acclaimed landscape designer, historian and author of American Eden, a lively, unique, and accessible cultural history of modern cities--from suburbs, downtown districts, and exurban sprawl, to shopping malls and "sustainable" developments--that allows us to view them through the planning, design, architects, and movements that inspired, created, and shaped them.

Dream Cities explores our cities in a new way--as expressions of ideas, often conflicting, about how we should live, work, play, make, buy, and believe. It tells the stories of the real architects and thinkers whose imagined cities became the blueprints for the world we live in.

From the nineteenth century to today, what began as visionary concepts--sometimes utopian, sometimes outlandish, always controversial--were gradually adopted and constructed on a massive scale in cities around the world, from Dubai to Ulan Bator to London to Los Angeles. Wade Graham uses the lives of the pivotal dreamers behind these concepts, as well as their acolytes and antagonists, to deconstruct our urban landscapes--the houses, towers, civic centers, condominiums, shopping malls, boulevards, highways, and spaces in between--exposing the ideals and ideas embodied in each.

From the baroque fantasy villages of Bertram Goodhue to the superblocks of Le Corbusier's Radiant City to the pseudo-agrarian dispersal of Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City, our upscale leafy suburbs, downtown skyscraper districts, infotainment-driven shopping malls, and "sustainable" eco-developments are seen as never before. In this elegantly designed and illustrated book, Graham uncovers the original plans of brilliant, obsessed, and sometimes megalomaniacal designers, revealing the foundations of today's varied municipalities. Dream Cities is nothing less than a field guide to our modern urban world.

Illustrated with 59 black-and-white photos throughout the text.

Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

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You can use this book to design a house for yourself with your family; you can use it to work with your neighbors to improve your town and neighborhood; you can use it to design an office, or a workshop, or a public building. And you can use it to guide you in the actual process of construction.

After a ten-year silence, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure are now publishing a major statement in the form of three books which will, in their words, "lay the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will we hope replace existing ideas and practices entirely." The three books are The Timeless Way of Building, The Oregon Experiment, and this book, A Pattern Language.

At the core of these books is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets, and communities. This idea may be radical (it implies a radical transformation of the architectural profession) but it comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people.

At the core of the books, too, is the point that in designing their environments people always rely on certain "languages," which, like the languages we speak, allow them to articulate and communicate an infinite variety of designs within a forma system which gives them coherence. This book provides a language of this kind. It will enable a person to make a design for almost any kind of building, or any part of the built environment.

"Patterns," the units of this language, are answers to design problems (How high should a window sill be? How many stories should a building have? How much space in a neighborhood should be devoted to grass and trees?). More than 250 of the patterns in this pattern language are given: each consists of a problem statement, a discussion of the problem with an illustration, and a solution. As the authors say in their introduction, many of the patterns are archetypal, so deeply rooted in the nature of things that it seemly likely that they will be a part of human nature, and human action, as much in five hundred years as they are today.

ROBERTO BURLE MARX LECTURES LA

ROBERTO BURLE MARX LECTURES LA

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Essential lectures on the art of landscaping from Roberto Burle Marx, described by the New York Times as the designer most responsible for our utopian impressions of the Brazilian built environment

Roberto Burle Marx (1909-94) remains one of the most important landscape architects in the history of the field, celebrated for his famous curving mosaic walkways at Copacabana Beach in Rio and the beautiful rooftop garden at Banco Safra in São Paulo. His distinctive and widely acclaimed work has been featured and referenced in numerous sources, yet few of Burle Marx's own words have been published.

This collection of a dozen of Burle Marx's lectures, most of which have never before been available in English, fills that void. Delivered on international speaking tours, they address topics such as Concepts in Landscape Composition, Gardens and Ecology and The Problem of Garden Lighting. Their publication sheds light on Burle Marx's distinctive ethic and aesthetic of landscape, as "the real art in living."

The lectures paint a picture of Burle Marx not just as a gardener, artist and botanist, but as a landscape architect whose ambition was to bring radical change to cities and society.

Along with Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer, the master planners of Brasília, Burle Marx is the designer most responsible for our utopian impressions of the Brazilian built environment, with its superstructures of swooping concrete ringed by profuse green expanses. -Jason Frago, New York Times

TEN BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE, VOL

TEN BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE, VOL

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Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, a Roman architect and engineer flourishing in the first century B.C., was the author of the oldest and most influential work on architecture in existence. For hundreds of years, the specific instructions he gave in his Ten Books on Architecture were followed faithfully, and major buildings in all parts of the world reveal the widespread influence of his precepts. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, he was the chief authority studied by architects, and in every point his precepts were accepted as final. Bramante, Michelangelo, Palladio, Vignola, and earlier were careful students of the work of Vitruvius. His book is thus one of those rare works that have been supremely important in the creation of the greatest art masterpieces.
Vitruvius describes the classic principles of symmetry, harmony, and proportion in architecture; the design of the treasury, prison, senate house, baths, forum, and temples; the construction of the theater: its site, foundations, and acoustics; the proper style and proportion for private dwellings; the differences between the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian styles; methods of giving durability and beauty to polished finishings; and many other topics that help us understand the methods and beliefs of the Roman architect.
It is a direct, authoritative, and detailed introduction to the ancients' methods of construction, the materials of the architect, and the prevailing aesthetic beliefs of the times; but it is also a work of art. Vitruvius wrote in such a fascinating manner, and digressed from his subject so often (as, for instance, when he wrote about the winds, Archimedes in his bath, and why authors should receive awards and honors at least as often as athletes), that his book has had a continuing appeal to the general reader for many centuries. Besides being an instructive treatise on nearly everything connected with Roman and Greek architecture, it is an entertaining description of some aspects of the life and beliefs of the times. This edition is the standard English translation, prepared over a period of several years by Professor M. H. Morgan of Harvard University.
TRAFFIC

TRAFFIC

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A New York Times Notable Book

One of the Best Books of the Year
The Washington Post - The Cleveland Plain-Dealer - Rocky Mountain News

In this brilliant, lively, and eye-opening investigation, Tom Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots. Traffic is about more than driving: it's about human nature. It will change the way we see ourselves and the world around us, and it may even make us better drivers.