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Landscrapers: Building With the Land
Aaron Betsky's study explores how builders and architects are working with the land to produce structures that mirror, or are contained by, their surroundings. Ever since the discovery of the cave humans have made use of nature's geological formations, but only since developments in structural engineering has it been possible to engage the earth's surface...
Aaron Betsky's study explores how builders and architects are working with the land to produce structures that mirror, or are contained by, their surroundings. Ever since the discovery of the cave humans have made use of nature's geological formations, but only since developments in structural engineering has it been possible to engage the earth's surface as a building element in its own right. With an increasing awareness of our planet's limited natural resources and with landscape architects exerting ever-greater influence on contemporary design, architects around the world are building into the earth, merging man-made form with the contours of the land. The results are at once preternatural and breathtaking. Presenting these exciting, sensitive and innovative buildings, "Landscrapers" offers a global tour of these structures. From Zaha Hadid's Landesgartenschau pavilion in Germany to MVRVD's villa VRPO in the Netherlands, from Future System's hill-burrowing house in Wales to May Lin's Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC, more than 50 projects reveal the breadth and depth of this direction in architecture. Aaron Betsky begins this global tour with an introduction that considers our historical preoccupation with communing with the land through building. In four central chapters, Betsky explores the different ways in which "geotecture" responds to, interacts with, becomes part of, is integrated into - and yet remains distinctive within - our natural landscape. A reference section includes useful project and architect information, along with further reading.
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