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Small Buildings (Pamphlet Architecture) Paperback – 1 Oct 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (1 Oct. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568980558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568980553
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 0.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,106,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Michael Cadwell is a practicing architect and Associate Professor in the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture at The Ohio State University. A former Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and the MacDowell Colony, he is the author of "Small Buildings."


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Format: Paperback
'Small Buildings' is another fine offering from the Pamphlet Architecture series. The author's personal voyage of discovering the power of 'building' is joyous and invigorating, as are his illustrations, models, and photographs of his constructions. The alienation from reality that the author describes is something I and many young designers can relate to. And as those of us who have had the chance to will say, there really is nothing like rolling your sleeves up and actually BUILDING something, especially when it's something of your own personal design. That message really comes through in this nifty little book.

Some will think the drawings in particular are now a little dated, but I think they are honest. This, to me, is real architecture. The journeys that the author took with each of these wonderful 'little buildings' seem really valid and true to themselves. There may not be any snazzy 3D renders, or indeed colour, but there is a documented history of a collection of projects that beautifully came into being. Designers should start building things!

The only thing that stopped it getting 5 stars was (and this is the case with all the pamphlet series) the price for such a small book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b3a3888) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a92dc0c) out of 5 stars An Architect's Valuable Insight 7 Jan. 2005
By Arch Monkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having been a student of Mike Cadwell, I must first profess a bias in my critique.

That having been stated, Mike Cadwell's book is a documented insight into how he matured as an architect. From the onset, his initiative and determination is motivated by his desire to further his knowledge and understanding of how things are constructed.

Mr. Cadwell once stated that while working in an architect's office an employee was once asked by the firm owner what material that employee was rendering in color. The lack of an understanding that Mr. Cadwell overheard motivated him to fully understand the materials that architects use, how they go together, and the implications of designs.

The portfolio of the projects are impressive on the scale that they operate and how they serve Mr. Cadwell as studies.

But, what is more impressive is Mr. Cadwell's determination to take on such studies in an effort to better understand the practice of architecture. He is responsible for the design of the projects through the construction of them. He learns errors along that way that many architects suffer the criticism of contractors on.

Through these invaluable studies, it is evident that Mr. Cadwell evolves into a better architect of which many others only aspire to be.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b72c900) out of 5 stars a real education 14 Jun. 2002
By Matthew O. Nugent - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In his introduction, Mike Caldwell refers to the gap between architectural abstraction - model making, sketching and drawing - and built reality as the motivating force behind these projects. Caldwell saw his lack of knowledge about how materials actually come together as a gap in what he calls his "sensual education" and undertook these projects as a remedy for that. Instead of simply building a tool shed or a set of shelves, Caldwell carefully thought out four clever hybrid structures - the Bridge-Box, the Drum-Barge, the Ark-Tower and the House-Tunnel. Each project took a familiar form and placed it in an unusual or whimsical situation. The process Caldwell took to arrive at each final form is well-explained and careful without stifling the spirit of structures.
As an architecture student, I can relate very personally to the feeling of disconnect that Caldwell had about his intellectual education. This sort of this simply isn't taught much in architecture schools these days; one has to independently recognize the defecit and seek to fill it. The power of building something of your design is extraordinary, and PA 17 is a wonderful reminder of how rewarding doing those small, personal projects can be.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b72cb40) out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE FOR ANY GOOD COLLECTION!!! 17 April 1999
By Joey D. Ottman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a collection of exceptional works. Tectonically beautiful and intricate, his small buildings represent some of the finer points of simple thought in architecture. His own commentary and a conclusion by Turner Brooks allow a clear and concise understanding of the projects. As a former student of Cadwell, and now a colleague, this one book I would not pass up. Cadwell shows outstanding ability and promise for even more beautiful work to come.
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