Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: The Sustainable Asian House by Paul McGillick and Masano Kawana

Today's byword is sustainability, and in few arenas is that more evident than in architecture. The Sustainable Asian House celebrates the new architectural vocabulary of environmental, social, and cultural sustainability as it is now emerging in Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The houses in this book are an exciting representation of the region's reinterpretation of tropical architecture and its growing interest in traditional materials and craftsmanship. There is a new emphasis on fresh air, natural light, and spatial variety. Designers are considering issues such as orientation to the sun and prevailing winds to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint. The twenty-seven houses are featured in this fascinating and stunningly photographed study.

I've been fascinated by architecture for quite a while and I love to take a peek at what other people are doing in their homes via books such as The Sustainable Asian House.

This engaging and beautifully photographed volume is visually stunning, yet thought provoking as it really makes you think about what sustainable really means these days.

Sustainable no longer equates with the hippie ideal architecture of homes made of bottles in concrete or hay bales and mud with minimal light and air. It also no longer means that you have to live in the smallest space possible.  Sustainable homes can be beautiful and functional.  They can also be any size, bright, warm, and welcoming. This book showcases those elements beautifully.

The book features twenty seven homes which are completely different in size, shape, and location yet each is completely sustainable in every sense of the word. The homes are sustainably built but also function sustainably as homes which can change and grow with their owners and their needs. The architects truly considered whether their design could sustain a couple through the years while they were just married, had children, and then were just the two of them again after the children left.

Each home is shown from multiple interior and exterior angles in simply gorgeous photographs. They show that the houses featured are actually homes that function wonderfully for their owners. They range from ultra modern homes to more classic styles. They feature fireplaces and bookcases and everything one might desire from a home and look good while doing so.

What is perhaps the most gorgeous is the many homes which feature courtyard spaces that provide stunning yet functional outdoor living spaces, some complete with swimming pools. I never would have associated sustainable living with a swimming pool before this book!

My personal favorite of all the homes featured was the Carphenie House in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It embodied everything the book discussed and was visually stunning as well. I loved the curves and light and the wonderful grand entranceway filled with plants. It was simply gorgeous!

I was absolutely blown away by this stunning volume and highly recommend it!

★★★★★ = Loved It

Disclosure:  This is a publisher sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.


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