A remarkable illustrated study by eco-architect David Pearson illuminating the rediscovery of ancient wisdom that, in turn, has inspired a spiritual reawakening in architecture.
In the past, building in harmony with nature was essential for survival. Today, our sense of ecological responsibility combines with a renewed understanding of the built environment’s influence on personal health and spiritual warmth to create a new type of architecture which reclaims that ancient harmony with nature. David Pearson, the renowned author of The New Natural House Book, has traveled the world in his quest to discover buildings that exemplify the three themes of this “natural architecture”: ecology, health, and spiritual awareness.
Drawing on his background as an architect specializing in housing, environmental issues, and holistic design, Pearson compiles a collection of “environmentally clean” and “spiritually healthy” buildings from around the world and across the centuries. Some are environmentally sound, some congenial to human well-being, and others spiritually powerful. He divides his discussion of these buildings, which are illustrated with 146 stunning full-color photographs and eighteen drawings, into six thematic chapters. The first chapter explains how ancient architectural forms like yurts and teepees reflect archetypes of human spirituality, while the second explores the rejuvenating qualities of today’s healing architecture. The third chapter focuses on ecologically aware building principles, the fourth on the lessons of traditional folk architecture, and the fifth on the culturally vibrant architecture of developing countries. The final chapter describes how all these architectural influences have led to a new awakening, which is embodied in architects’ organic designs for contemporary structures ranging from farmhouses to department stores.
Together the six chapters, which are augmented by a bibliography, a glossary, and a resource list giving contact information for the featured designers, comprise a provocative architectural journey, a must-read for anyone interested in designing or living in environmentally sound buildings that are in harmony with the landscape and the human spirit.