Blue Architecture: Water, Design, and Environmental Futures (Hardcover)

Blue Architecture: Water, Design, and Environmental Futures By Brook Muller Cover Image

Blue Architecture: Water, Design, and Environmental Futures (Hardcover)


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2023 Finalist, PROSE Award in Architecture and Urban Planning

A guide to water-focused and climate-resilient architectural and urban design.

Le Corbusier famously said, “A house is a machine for living in.” We now confront the litany of environmental challenges associated with the legacy of the architectural machine: a changing climate, massive species die-off, diminished air and water quality, and resource scarcities. Brook Muller offers an alternative: water-centric urban design that fosters sustainability, equity, and architectural creativity.

Inspired by the vernacular, such as the levadas of Madeira Island and both the arid and drenched places of the American West, Muller articulates a “hydro-logical” philosophy in which architects and planners begin by conceptualizing interactions between existing waterways and the spaces they intend to develop. From these interactions—and the new technologies and approaches enabling them—aesthetic, spatial, and experiential opportunities follow. Not content merely to work around sensitive ecology, Muller argues for genuinely climate-adapted urban landscapes in which buildings act as ecological infrastructure that actually improve watersheds while delivering functionality and beauty for diverse communities. Rich in images and practical examples, Blue Architecture will change the way we think about our designed world.

Brook Muller is the dean of the College of Arts and Architecture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Also a design practitioner, he has worked for Behnisch & Partners Architects in Stuttgart, among others, and has designed projects across the globe. He is the author of Ecology and the Architectural Imagination.

Product Details ISBN: 9781477325100
ISBN-10: 1477325107
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication Date: May 10th, 2022
Pages: 216
Language: English
This decentralized account of architectural design reconceives the ways in which urban spaces are inhabited and the habituations of those living within such environs. Muller’s analysis carefully and critically meanders throughout different climates and cities, demonstrating the particular and non-universalizable agency of water...Written in an approachable manner for any student of the environment, architecture, art, or philosophy, Muller demonstrates an expertise and familiarity with the terrain of contemporary urban problems and their historical development...Arguing for an understanding of water as agential rather than material obstacle, Muller reconceives not only the task of urban architecture but sustainable development as a whole.
— Environmental Philosophy