Landscrapers: Building With the Land

ISBN 10: 0500341885 / ISBN 13: 9780500341889
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Synopsis: Ever since the discovery of the cave, humans have made use of nature's geological formations. It has been only recently, however, that developments in structural engineering have made it 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, the most acclaimed architectural practices from around the world are building into the earth, merging man-made forms with the contours of the land. The results are at once preternatural and breathtaking. From Zaha Hadid's Tram Terminal in France to Snohetta's Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, from Future System's hill-burrowing house in Wales to Antoine Predock's Spencer Theater in the United States, over fifty projects expose the breadth and depth of this new direction in architecture.
Aaron Betsky introduces this global tour by considering our historical preoccupation with communing with the land through building. Four central chapters explore the ways in which 'geotecture' responds to, becomes a part of and yet remains distinctive within our natural landscape. 'Engineered Utopias' investigates how the material and physical act of shaping the earth through technology and innovation has opened up a realm of ideals; 'Caves and Caverns' burrows into the land to discover new spatial experiences; 'Unfolding the Land' opens up the earth to create architectural forms; finally, 'A New Nature' merges landscape with architecture, the natural with the human.
Countless contemporary architecture movements around the world make it difficult to identify meaningful international trends. With the subtext of our planet's power and beauty, Landscrapers reveals some of the most important, influential and appealing building forms for today and the future.

About the Author: Aaron Betsky is director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam.

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Title: Landscrapers: Building With the Land
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