book report: jean dethier explores the past, present, and future of earth architecture
 

book report: jean dethier explores the past, present, and future of earth architecture

for almost 10,000 years, unbaked earth has been used to build everything from simple dwellings to immense palaces. capable of being both grand and durable, earth materials may be as simple as mud, or, to add strength, compressed, baked, or combined with other materials. although these practices have been around for millennia, there has been little discussion about the role of these structures in a contemporary context — until now. in a new book, previewed by designboom ahead of its launch, author jean dethier examines the past, present, and future of earthen buildings.

book report: jean dethier explores the past, present, and future of earth architecture
the great mosque of djenné, mali
image © aga khan trust for culture / anne-hélène decaux

 

 

published by princeton architectural press, ‘the art of earth architecture’ demonstrates the wide-ranging applications and sustainability of this building material, while presenting a manifesto for its ecological significance. featuring raw-earth masterpieces and monumental structures, as well as other lesser known works, the 512 page-book includes the temples and palaces of mesopotamia, the great wall of china, large-scale urban developments in tenochtitlan, the medinas of morocco, and housing in marrakesh and bogota.

book report: jean dethier explores the past, present, and future of earth architecture
library for the community of muyinga, burundi
image © robust architecture workshop

 

 

with an interdisciplinary approach that combines ecology and technology, archaeology and history, jean dethier presents the story within its political, economic, and social context: from the french revolution to the american counterculture, passing through the two world wars, the wall street crash, the cold war, the evolution of the third world, and the ongoing rise of ecological awareness.

book report: jean dethier explores the past, present, and future of earth architecture
nk’mip desert cultural centre, osoyoos, canada
image © nic lehoux / DIALOG

 

 

the book also contains essays on the historical, technical, and cultural aspects of raw-earth construction from 20 experts in the field. serving as a definitive reference for anyone interested in earth architecture, the hardcover publication’s 650 photos and 150 drawings illustrate a total of 450 ancient and contemporary locations — including many UNESCO world heritage sites. available from march 3, 2020, the book can be ordered online via the princeton architectural press website.

book report: jean dethier explores the past, present, and future of earth architecture
palaces and houses of the najran region, saudi arabia
image © thierry mauger

book report: jean dethier explores the past, present, and future of earth architecture
dogon villages, mali
image © gert chesi

book report: jean dethier explores the past, present, and future of earth architecture
‘the art of earth architecture’ by jean dethier, published by princeton architectural press

 

 

book info:

 

name: the art of earth architecture — past, present, future
author: jean dethier
format: 9.5 × 12 in (24.1 × 30.5 cm) / hardcover / 512 pages
publisher: princeton architectural press
illustrations: 700 color, 100 b/w
ISBN: 9781616898892

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