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Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Climate

Sandra Piesik


A compact edition of this landmark publication, which celebrates humanity’s ability to create buildings that for millennia have responded ingeniously to cultural and environmental conditions

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There has never been a more important time to understand how to make the best use of local natural resources and create buildings that do not rely on stripping our planet or transporting materials across the globe. First published in 2017, this major book gathers together the world’s leading experts on vernacular architecture to examine how local buildings have stood the test of time and offer lessons for the future.

The core of the book is arranged by climate zone, from desert to tropical, temperate to arctic. Within each section, buildings are presented regionally, showing how climatic conditions and vegetation affect the evolution of building styles. This central part is bookended by a range of essays exploring the economic and anthropological aspects, while the reference section offers information on materials science and engineering, including how buildings have been adapted to contend with natural disasters.

The traditions of vernacular architecture have much to teach us. Given our ecosystem’s increasing frailty, the architecture and building trade’s new role in a post-digital era, and the desperate need to record fading cultural traditions, the relevance of this book is greater than ever.

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'Hefty, handsome … works best as evidence and inspiration, as the laying out of the amazingly multifarious forms that human dwellings can take, from which it might still be possible to learn'

'A landmark publication … a timely and urgent story of humanity’s capacity to create architecture without jeopardizing the equilibrium of the ecosystems upon which human life depends'

'Amazing … fabulous photographs, authoritative essays and elaborate diagrams and maps'
The Irish Times

'An inspiring study of design, use of natural materials and sense of place'
Self Build Magazine

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Edition Type: Compact edition

Size: 28.8 x 22.4 cm

Extent: 496 pp

Illustrations: 1000

Publication date: 18 May 2023

ISBN: 9780500343760

About the Author

Dr Sandra Piesik is an award-winning architect, author and scientist specialising in a diverse range of subjects from art and design to the implementation of global sustainable legislation, nature-based solutions, innovation, technology transfer and contemporary adaptation of traditional knowledge. She is the founder of 3 ideas, an Amsterdam-based consultancy, a member of the New European Bauhaus EU initiative, an advisor to UNFCCC, and a former senior consultant to UNFCCC, UNCCD, and UN-HABITAT Global Solutions Division on territorial integration. Her diverse global engagements range from art and design projects, leading research & development initiatives, international lectures, judging competitions, the nomination of awards, and collaboration with the European Union entities.