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July 15, 2009

One of the joys of coming in to Dwell every morning is passing by William Stout Architectural Books, maybe the best design bookstore I've seen. In addition to shelves and shelves of books on architecture, graphics, industrial design and interiors, proprietor William Stout also runs a publishing house across the Bay in Richmond, California. Each year William Stout Publishers puts out a small crop of design books, focused largely on California. I got a trio of the 2009 batch in the mail this week. Have a look. 


Dan Kiley Poetry of Landscapes

Dan Kiley Landscapes: The Poetry of Space Edited by Rueben M. Rainey and Marc Treib

 This new book offers a variety of thoughts on one of modernism’s great landscape designers: Dan Urban Kiley. In addition to four essays on his work, the volume boasts a lecture Kiley delivered at the University of Virginia in 1982 on his working methods as well as a transcript of a panel discussion featuring him and landscape architects Laurie Olin, David Streatfield and Rueben Rainey (an editor of the book).

Naturally no book on Kiley skimps on photography of this master’s work, and this is no exception. From his work at Dulles Airport and the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (with Eero Saarinen) to his much lauded Irwin Miller house and garden, to the Kennedy Memorial Library, Kiley’s versatility, uniquely modern sensibility and eye for arresting natural beauty are on stellar display.

Living Modern Greenwood Common
Living Modern: A Biography of Greenwood Common by Waverly B. Lowell

Living Modern tells the story of Greenwood Common, a cluster of eight modern homes erected in the mid 1950s in the Berkeley, California hills. Paying equal attention to the history of the place, its splendid Lawrence Halprin-designed central green and landscape design and the eight homes themselves—designed by the likes of Donald Olsen, Henry Hill and Joseph Esherick—this well-illustrated volume pays proper attention to a secluded little marvel of mid-century design.  This aptly named biography is chock-a-block with sketches, photos and diagrams as well as Lowell’s illuminating text. If further proof were needed that California was the center of the architecture world just after World War II, this is it.

Growing Urban Habitats
Growing Urban Habitats: Seeking a New Housing Development Model by William R. Morrish, Susanne Schindler and Katie Swenson

Growing Urban Habitats is a field guide to smart, dense development, a tool as useful to the architect as the real estate mogul. Surveying a broad swath of international development, this book draws and expands upon Urban Habitats, an international design competition launched in 2005 by the Charlottesville Community Design Center and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville. Noted (and Dwell-approved) firms like Anderson and Anderson, David Baker and Partners, Lloyd Russell and Pugh and Scarpa, all get their due here, as well as dozens more. From urban habitats to urban habits, peruse tomorrow’s housing models today.

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