So many lovely architecture books… that the benefit of going a polytechnic university. There is a pretty good selection of architecture books here in Cal Poly SLO.
I thought I should start writing some review. I read so many books anyway (as many of you know, I am a total bookworm. Even more so ever since I started working in the school library last year. Now, I am even building a library for thesis!)
So, let’s begin with recent favorites. For today, let me introduce Material For Design by Victoria Ballard Bell:
I wish I have found this book earlier. It’s so clear and concise yet informative. It is not that big, nor expensive. That is actually beauty of it. I can carry it anywhere, and it doesn’t take forever to read through it. Yet, the content is good enough that you will want to keep it as a reference even after reading it and remember it.
Let me go into the details. Basically, the chapter is divided into 5 materials: Glass, Concrete, Wood, Metals, Plastics. Pretty simple and normal material, right? Not exactly.
For each chapter, the author goes further into and outlines the basic information, history, design consideration, and types. In addition, depending on the material, the author goes further into things like preservatives, connections, additives, processing, and other features or requirements that comes with the material. For example, with glass, the author list out the different construction of wood building and preservatives used under Design Consideration. In Types, he list out Lumber, Laminated Wood, Panel Products, Manufactured Wood Components, and Connectors. Then he list out the different kinds of Types. Manufactured Wood Components, for example, list out Trusses, Plywood I-Beams, and Panel & Box Components. He goes into detail about each kinds from a design perspective, such as how it is made, what is the material, known properties, how it is put together and used in building, standard size, grading, environmental issues, etc. In metal, there is even charts of Galvanic Relationship Between Metals, Comparison of Metal Properties, Effects of Weathering, and Relatives Cost. All in clear, easy to read format and don’t have you going to check the dictionary. Golden.
It’s informative enough to make good design consideration and leaves space for further research if desire, but not so complex and overstate that you will need to reference your ARCE textbook or make you want to just flip through the pages looking for a index.
The book then list out different buildings as material examples. There is a good amount of eye-candies. But! There is also an ample amount of sections (yes, gasp, sections! With uniform, clear labels. No blurry hand-drawings from scans or shorthand writing) and floor plans with arrows.
The book itself is worth collection with its book quality, too. It’s got a nice, simple blue cover that extends over to the binding side. The book itself have a plastic cover. The page edge is change shades of blue-green color base on the material discussed (Concrete, for example, is a light grayish blue) Each page is colored. The book is only about 300 pages, making it fairly thin for an architecture book. The size is regular paper size, perfect for fitting into a backpack.
If I had saw this during freshman year, I would’ve totally buy it. But alas, I only have 2 quarter to go before graduation. For now, I shall happily reading through the book.