The average rating for Zen Architecture: The Building Process as Practice based on 1 review is 3 stars.
|Review # 1 was written on 2009-08-07 00:00:00|
The first part of this book was enjoyable and informative, highlighting the architect Paul Discoe's work on Zen centers such as the San Francisco Zen Center's Tassajara, Green Gulch, and City Center complexes, and Kojin-an Zendo in Oakland, California. It was interesting to learn how traditional Japanese architecture was adapted to Western codes and standards, and how the architect used reclaimed wood and fallen trees for some of the buildings. It includes many photos and and a number of drawings. However, the residential section devotes a number of pages to a compound in Woodside, California, that includes many buildings around a lake, bridges, pool, etc. The architect and his firm worked on it for a dozen years or so. It so excessive that I found it hard to believe that all of these buildings were going to be used by one person/family. The book does not state it, but this complex was built for Larry Ellison. While the details about the buildings are useful for someone interested in Japanese carpentry, the inclusion of this project seemed very out-of-place in a book entitled "Zen architecture." Elsewhere in the book, the author talks about using reclaimed wood from street trees, preferring modest structures, etc. I felt like some sort of explanation was needed about a project that was so obviously wasteful, unsustainable and seemingly incompatible with the philosophy of the architect and his Zen practice.
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