I chose to review this book because I just applied to the Architecture and Design program at SOTA. My uncle, who is an architect, sent me this book for Christmas. It is called The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings, by Marc Kushner.
It is a collection of buildings that show how architecture can shape your life. Architecture is not only used to define space but also to affect how people feel about that space and about themselves. It can be humorous and whimsical or serious and imposing. It can lift you up or bring you down. The buildings are divided into several categories like Extreme Locations, Reinvention, and Nature Building. Extreme Locations focuses on buildings and structures in remote places on Earth, even the moon. Reinvention is about taking something you would never associate with a house, such as a factory or a freeway, and turning it into a residence. Nature building is a compilation of structures that are built in or among nature, not on top of it. Other categories include Pop-Up, Shape Shifters, and Fast-Forward.
One of my favorites in the Nature Building section is a treehouse covered in mirrored panels that camouflage it into its forest environment. The mirrors are coated with a substance that makes them visible to birds so they don’t fly into them. Another favorite is the Aqua building in Chicago, which falls under the Shape Shifters category. The architect designed the floors to extend out to the balcony on each level in swoops that create a sort of ripple effect on the sides of the building, directing the wind away from the people who are on the balconies. I also love a ski jump in Sweden that is basically a diagonal bridge structure that cantilevers off a hill.
There really aren’t any characters in the book, since it’s a compilation of pictures, computer renderings, and descriptions. That said, if you consider buildings to be characters the treehouse in the previous paragraph would be my favorite because it’s like a secret hideaway. I would love to see the treehouse in person. The combination of treehouse and sci-fi makes me think of it as a sort of stealth treehouse.
This book is awesome since it has so many interesting and unusual building designs—great for coming up with new ideas for houses or other structures. I would give it 4/5 stars.
This book is similar to the ten other architecture books my parents gave me to prepare for my SOTA audition in that they all talk about how architecture shapes our world.
I think the author, who is a practicing architect himself, is trying to connect people with architecture and show them the directions the practice might go in the coming years.