While I was browsing through the library at TUM yesterday, I ran across a book by Johan van Lengen calledThe Barefoot Architect. Although the book was first published in 1982, it still retains its significance and relevance even till today, and has served as a reference source for those interested in green building practices, particularly in dry and humid tropics.

This book is filled with lots of hand drawn illustrations that covers design, construction details, water and sanitation techniques, natural heating and cooling systems, along with a wide variety of natural materials.

Over 200,00 copies of the Spanish language edition were sold in Latin America alone since its publication. I can't think of any other architectural related books that have surpassed 200,000 copies in sales except for the ever popular Francis D.K. Ching's Architectural Graphics. The Barefoot Architect is truly a classic in its own genre.

Although many of the methods of construction shown are traditional in nature, they can be creatively adopted for modern applications. One should not be overly obsessed with everything that is new and modern. As the old saying goes, "old is gold." There is a whole world of good old things waiting to be explored. All we need is to know how and where to look.


Johan van Lengen is a co-founder of The Intuitive Technology and Bio-Architecture School (TIBÁ). Further information on the School's activities, can be found at the following links :






 Quotation source: http://www.domusweb.it/en/op-ed/2012/05/23/how-i-lost-my-shoes.html

Image credits:

Image 1 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/31746631@N00/5550720290/in/dateposted/
Image 2 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/31746631@N00/5550136675/in/photostream/
Image 3 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/31746631@N00/5468362548/in/photostream/
Image 4 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/31746631@N00/5396119596/in/dateposted/
Image 5 - https://tibazine.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/dscn1191.jpg
Image 6 - https://tibazine.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/img_4231.jpg
Image 7 - https://tibazine.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/img_4261-1.jpg
Image 8 - https://tibazine.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/taipa2.jpg