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The Work of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

Economy as Ethic

Robert McCarter


The first comprehensive monograph of this major North American practice – winners of more than 100 awards, including the 2015 Gold Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

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MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, have an international reputation. Producing a wide range of projects both in Canada and further afield, they work in a sophisticated modern vernacular idiom, drawing inspiration from a rich local heritage of building types and reinterpreting them according to the best practices of 21st-century architecture.

It is above all for their dignified and beautiful houses perched on the wild, rocky coasts of Nova Scotia that the firm is recognized. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this remarkable body of work is based around a number of plan types that answer to the particular local climate: open to the sun but sheltered from the winds, and built using traditional materials that are allowed to weather, these dwellings embody the architects’ engagement with their unique surroundings and material culture.

This monograph covers MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects’ complete work. Introductions by renowned architectural writers set the scene, while individual projects are illustrated through evocative photographs and detailed plans and drawings. What emerges is a celebration of an architecture that is both practical and deeply poetic.

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'McCarter’s writing exhibits a rare combination of the designer’s understanding of materials and methods with the historian’s grasp of precedent and style'
Library Journal

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC

Size: 29.4 x 23.8 cm

Extent: 416 pp

Illustrations: 750

Publication date: 23 March 2017

ISBN: 9780500343319

About the Author

Robert McCarter is the Ruth and Norman Moore Professor of Architecture at Washington University, St Louis, Missouri.

List of Contributors

Kenneth Frampton, Juhani Pallasmaa, Talbot Sweetapple, Brian Mackay-Lyons

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