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Architect's Pocket Book (Routledge Pocket Books) Paperback – 12 Apr 2017
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'It is twelve years since I recommended to Charlotte Baden-Powell that the future editions of her little Architect’s Pocket Book would be safe in the hands of former FCBS partner Jonathan Hetreed. The succession has worked very well and the Pocket Book continues to be a best seller. Its appeal is comprehensive accessibility: it covers all those pragmatic necessities.
As we all know it’s very difficult to reduce everything to the essence of what is important, - to eliminate the superfluous, condense and minimise. So scale is important in many respects – the physical scale of the book, and the scale of the architecture covered- It is derived from the world of smaller scale architecture though most of its contents are useful across the board. The latest version has an updated section on sustainability and climate change, and a rewritten section on engineering. Some sections have been weeded out to ensure that only the essentials are retained. But there is also a whimsical quality that Charlotte really valued which acts as a counterpoint to the editorial rigour. So it is great to see that the platonic solids are still there, and the coastal weather stations, and Charlotte’s husband’s glass of wine is still on the illustration of the "workstation"
In an era where Google has a screen-based answer to everything, it is slightly incongruous to find the Pocket Book adjacent to the multi-screened architectural workstations that now inhabit our offices. Despite rising sales of the e-book version the paper copy continues to be a best seller for architects, and particularly students. It provides a simple quick reference for virtually everything you need to know on a day by day basis. It belongs in every student’s studio-survival pack, with which they can begin to navigate the quantitative labyrinth of being an architect.'
Peter Clegg, Senior Partner, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
About the Author
Jonathan Hetreed and Ann Ross have drawn from decades of experience of running their own architects’ practice in Bath to update and extend the scope of this latest edition of Charlotte Baden-Powell’s APB, reflecting continuing changes in design, construction and practice, incorporating new contributions from consultants and suppliers while retaining the compact scale and lively detail of the original.
Charlotte Baden-Powell was trained at the Architectural Association in London. She practised architecture for over 40 years, during which time she identified the need for this book, first published in 1997 and still incisively relevant today.
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I would suggest there are actually two main uses for this book. Firstly as a reference and easy access data book - checking weights, loadings, sizes etc - which as listed in other reviews is ideal for a professional engaged in construction. The data is of course not exhaustive as it is constrained to pocket book size, but it hits an excellent balance between summary and detail. This is an excellent reflection on the author's ability to precis information.
Secondly - and where it is most useful for me as a self builder rather than building pro, especially when engaged on a project not supported by an architect - it gives a basic understanding of a wide range of issues. For example, there is a straightforward summary of foundation types, generic benefits of different insulation materials etc which have all helped me either to refine specifications or to judge that I need to go and research further elsewhere. There is also a great deal here to save you trial and error - the spacing needed around cars when designing a garage block, circulation space within bathrooms etc etc. Even if, as a self builder, you are using the services of an architect I would still recommend this as background reading.
From the self build perspective I would suggest this goes on to your shelf alongside a copy of Mark Brinkley's book Housebuilder's Bible (ninth edition) (9th Edition) which complements this nicely, adding detail to some of the pocket book's introduction to subjects and also invaluable advice on controlling costs.
It came with me every week to studio sessions and sat on my work desk at home permanently as it was used so regularly. Every student I know at uni has this in their collection... so if you're going to uni for architecture or interior design... get it!
You'll be pleased to know this is a book to have for reference... not one to read cover to cover... But you will know your way around it pretty quick!!
is dated and makes no consideration to technical (building control) standards which vary
in england, scotland, wales and n.ireland. Pocket Book requires significant detailed updating.
Book purchased for grand daughter who is at university in aberdeen studying architecture.
H.G Taylor FRIAS
Don't forget: Most specialists and pros. only have to know their own whatever but architects have to know a bit about everything which is ''the built environment''.