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New Vernacular Architecture considers the synthesis of modernity and tradition in contemporary architecture. Focusing on 37 international examples of buildings of different types completed in the last decade, it examines architecture that reinterprets rather than revives traditional forms, materials and construction techniques. The projects covered range from better known works by renowned architects such as Michael Graves, Renzo Piano and David Chipperfield, to less familiar buildings in Hungary, Nepal, Latvia and elsewhere.
The fragmentation of nation states and the greater plurality of political and cultural identities that have occurred over recent years have led to a growing reaction in architecture against "global blanding" - the worldwide homogenization of images and designs. As a result, local context, materials and culture are becoming increasingly important concerns for many architects. Architecture has captured the public imagination as a means of lending form to evolving regional identity and as a way of reflecting difference. Each project features a thoroughly researched and detailed commentary, and is generously illustrated with photographs, sketches and plans.
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Vicky Richardson is Deputy Editor of RIBA Journal.
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