Synopses & Reviews
The first comprehensive study of the development of solar house design in the United States and around the world. The Solar House explores the development of solar residential architecture over the course of the twentieth century and up to the latest designs today. The solar house is often understood as a product of the 1970s, and few people are aware of the influential experimental solar houses which were constructed during the previous four decades, beginning with the work of masters of twentieth-century architecture such as Richard Neutra, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Paolo Soleri, Louis Kahn, Pietro Belluschi, Edward Durell Stone, and Harwell Hamilton Harris, and continuing with more recent innovations like the German Passivhaus movement and the Heliotrope, the first house to produce more energy than it consumed, and the U.S.-based Solar Decathlon, conceived as a living demonstration laboratory and recently expanded to include contests in Europe and China. Not only are these innovative projects the models for architects exploring environmentally conscious design today, they hold the imagination of the wider public, beginning with the idealism of the 1960s, the pragmatism that accompanied the energy crisis of the 1970s, and continuing into the twenty-first century with the demand for environmentally sustainable living. The first complete study of solar house design through the decades, this volume is a must-have resource for designers today.
"The solar house is brought back into the public's awareness with this neat coffee table book illustrating the history of this architectural style. 'A distinctly modern concept' dating back to the 1930s, solar houses utilize 'passive design' with the goal of harnessing enough energy from the sun to offset heating and cooling bills. Denzer takes readers through the style's history, addressing both successful and failed designs, while focusing on prominent designers such as Fred Keck, Arthur Brown, and Henry N. Wright, as well as engineers like Maria Telkes and George Loef. The text especially comes to life when Denzer scrutinizes the 'schism' between architects and engineers and the ways these two professions often fail to compromise, apparently a common occurrence in the industry. While the solar house's value has been proven many times, it remains a footnote in the architectural canon. With growing interest in green architecture, however, this book will hopefully revive interest. While Denzer could've taken greater advantage of the book's coffee table format and included more photographs, he thoroughly documents the history of solar houses in a way that will inform and enlighten architecture enthusiasts. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Anthony Denzer teaches architectural engineering at the University of Wyoming and is the author of Gregory Ain: The Modern Home as Social Commentary.