Interior Design


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Handmade Houses: A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design

Written by Richard Olsen, Photographed by Lucy Goodhart and Kodiak Greenwood

  • March 20, 2012
  • Hardcover
  • House & Home - Decorating
  • Rizzoli
  • 8-1/2 x 9-1/2
  • $45.00
  • $50.00
  • 978-0-8478-3845-5

About This Book

Showcasing one hundred years of innovation and environmental sensitivity, Handmade Houses celebrates some of the world’s most idiosyncratic homes from Big Sur to Sardinia. Author Richard Olsen  unveils the components used for their construction, including driftwood, boulders, and even old wine vats.

The first study of the handmade-homes phenomenon since its inception in the late 1960s, Handmade Houses revisits the subject’s roots and history, exploring how these homes and their owners paved the way for the architectural-salvage business and the reclaimed, industrial look ever-popular today. As fascinating as the structures are themselves, their owners—professionals and amateurs who personally designed and built each residence—offer their inspirations and stories behind the convention-defying homes. Design lessons are gleaned from each home—some examples of environmentally aware construction with applicable tips for use in more mainstream scenarios. Handmade Houses is an important and relevant volume to be appreciated by anyone interested in environmentally friendly design, craft, and the expression of personal style in the home.  

About the Author

Richard Olsen is formerly the architecture editor at Architectural Digest, the author of Log Houses of the World, and coauthor of Malibu: A Century of Living by the Sea. Kodiak Greenwood’s photographs have appeared in National Geographic Adventure, Condé Nast Traveler, Patagonia, the New York Times, and Travel & Leisure. Lucy Goodhart’s pictures have appeared in numerous publications, including London's The Sunday Telegraph and The Times, and in Bay Area publications Monocle and Edible San Francisco

Reviews

  • "Handmade Houses: A Century of Earth Friendly Home Design (Rizzoli; $45), by Richard Olsen, a former editor at Architectural Digest, is a breezy history of the genre, tracing its roots from Henry Thoreau to Carl Jung, and from Helen and Scott Nearing, whose mid-century subsistence living experiment in Vermont and Maine prefigured the ’70s-era back-to-the-landers, to Lloyd Kahn, once the shelter editor of The Whole Earth Catalog, and the dean of the hand-built movement." ~New York Times

    What Richard Olsen has assembled is an attractive and engaging book, suitable for coffee table, bookshelf, or drawing board. Through interviews, research, and the collaboration of his photographers Lucy Goodhart and Kodiak Greenwood, he has created a beautifully tactile storybook about a passion to build.” ~New York Journal of Books

    “This tale is a lot more than hippies and hot tubs, however. Olsen provides a thorough history of the owner-built, woodbutcher movement from places like Big Sur, California, and Prickly Mountain, Vermont. And he addresses the sources of handcraft construction: Buddhist architecture of Japan, Norwegians cabins, Sea Ranch in California, Gaudi, Maybeck, and Jung, to name a few). Works from Europe and Australia provide an international context.” ~Architectural Record

    “If you are like me, interested in environmentally friendly design and unique style in the home, you will appreciate this book.” ~Mid-Century-Modern.net
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