Contemporary House Publications From Around The World

by | 12. Nov 2015


This week on arcspace we’ve decided to round-up some of the most impressive publications on contemporary residential architecture from around the world. From Northern-Europe to the South-Pacific see how climatic conditions and cultural heritages have formed distinct styles and forms of living.

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Scandanavia Modern Houses 4 – The Spirit of Nordic Light

By Vibe Udsen and Per Nagel

Hardcover, 200 pages
Publisher: Living Architecture

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LIVING ARCHITECTURE presents volume 4 of the book series SCANDINAVIAN MODERN HOUSES. It contains Per Nagel’s new photographs of some of the most significant Scandinavian private houses built during the twentieth century to elucidate the distinctive character of Nordic architecture, and its fine interplay with the vast nature. Nordic architects have developed a special awareness and sense of clarity concerning one of the most important elements for Northerners: the light! This sensibility for the different tonal qualities of light, and the extremely conscious use of light as the most important form producing and space-defining element, is perhaps the most remarkable common feature of Nordic architecture – the spirit of Nordic light!


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The Japanese House Reinvented

By Philip Jodidio

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

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Japanese houses today have to contend with unique factors that condition their design, from tiny plots in crowded urban contexts to ever-present seismic threats. These challenges encourage their architects to explore alternating ideas of stability and ephemerality in various ways, resulting in spaces that are as fascinating as they are idiosyncratic. Their formal innovation and attention to materials, technology and measures to coax in light and air while maintaining domestic privacy make them cutting-edge residences that suggest new ways of being at home. Contemporary Japanese architecture has emerged as a substantial force on the international scene ever since Kenzo Tange won the Pritzker Prize in 1987. This overview of 50 recent houses powerfully demonstrates Japans enduring commitment to design innovation.


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New Brazilian House

By Dominic Bradbury

Hardcover, 256 pages
Publisher: Thames & Hudson 

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Brazil is full of energy, creativity and originality. Amid its glamorous beaches and tropical vegetation, a new generation of architects are establishing a global reputation for themselves with houses and hotels that combine a bold contemporary aesthetic with a uniquely Brazilian sensibility. From São Paulo to Rio, to the coastal towns of Paraty and Ilhabela, the locations in this lively book cover a diverse range of projects, from stunning city homes to country retreats and tempting coastal escapes. All the buildings feature new takes on indoor-outdoor living, beautifully crafted local materials and original elements such as indoor gardens or integrated courtyards, and a mastery of natural light. These qualities build upon the potent legacy of Brazilian modernist design, which includes figureheads such as Oscar Niemeyer, Lina Bo Bardi and Robert Burle Marx, and is represented today by such design luminaries as Marcio Kogan, Isay Weinfeld and Arthur Casas. Featuring iconic projects by Marcos Acayaba and Pritzker-prize-winning architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, together with homes by designers such as Fernanda Marques, Guilherme Torres and André Piva, New Brazilian House is a wonderful reflection of the vitality and verve of Brazil’s architecture and design today.


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Big House, Small House: New Homes by New Zealand Architects

By John Walsh and Patrick Reynolds

Publisher: Godwit

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John Walsh and Patrick Reynolds are back with their third handsome New Zealand residential architecture book, which this time covers 60 projects built since 2007 and ranging from the small – baches, studios and apartments-through to the big-substantial new residences and conversions, homes with budgets to match their scale.

Walsh and Reynolds have track records as New Zealand’s preeminent architectural writer and photographer respectively. This time they are joined by a team of eminently well qualified contributing writers who, under John Walsh’s editorial supervision, bring together a very significant survey of residential architecture endeavour in recent years.

Thoughtfully written, beautifully photographed and handsomely produced, this massive book is unrivalled. Complete with plans, and enormously comprehensive, it is both a celebration and a sourcebook of New Zealand’s best architectural work.


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The West Coast Modern House: Vancouver Residential Architecture

By Greg Bellerby

Paperback, 176
Publisher: Figure 1 

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The West Coast Modern House chronicles the development of Vancouver residential architecture from the 1940s through its continued influence on contemporary practice. The post-war era in Vancouver defined what has become popularly know as the West Coast Style. Through the work of seminal figures such as BC Binning, Ned Pratt, Ron Thom, Fred Hollingsworth, Douglas Simpson, Barry Downs, and Arthur Erickson, Vancouver architects won national awards and international recognition for their innovative house designs. This period is now seen as one of the most important in the cities architectural history. Focusing on the years from 1940 to the mid-1960s, The West Coast Modern House features over 50 examples of modern houses.

The book is richly illustrated by photographs taken at the time by noted architectural photographers.Essays by Greg Bellerby, Jana Tyner, and Chris Macdonald elaborate on the history and innovative design strategies of the early period, through to an examination of the ways modern architectural concerns are being utilized by contemporary practitioners. Readers reach a greater understanding of the significance of modern residential architecture on the West Coast and the persistence and relevance of its innovative design, material and construction strategies.