Building with Straw

Frank Lloyd Wright once said that Doctors were lucky; they can bury their mistakes, whereas architects can only plant vines. Perhaps that is a virtue of straw bale; you can take a crappy building and feed it to the cows. It is a very green building material that has promise, but much of what we see is cutesy, vernacular, (dare we say)hippie back-to-the-earth and could use a good architect (or a hungry cow). That's why we like this new book by Gernot Minke and Friedemann Mahlke- in typical Birkhauser fashion it is thorough and professional. Part 1 covers the history and techology; Part II is a selection of straw bale houses from around the world- some ordinary looking but but most are interesting architecture worth space on the coffee or drafting table. There is even a straw bale dome! ::Amazon

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