Book Review: New Asia Pacific House
Book Review: New Asia Pacific House

New Asia Pacific House

Patrick Bingham-Hall

Pesaro Publishing, $70 HB

The first decade of the 21st century has seen the emergence of a vibrant architectural culture in our region.

The New Asia Pacific House, with text and photography by Patrick Bingham-Hall, features spectacular and imaginative homes in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia. Beautiful pavilions, expressive materials and leafy, pastoral or maritime outlooks feature in some of the most exotic and gorgeous locations in the world.

Each featured home reveals a harmony between local building traditions and modern forms. The Asia Pacific region is already facing the realities of climate change and over-population, and our architects are providing innovative solutions in their creation of responsive domestic architecture. All the featured homes in The New Asia Pacific House address solar orientation, ventilation, air quality, temperature, and seasonal rains in imaginative and elegant ways.

In identifying our need to connect to the natural environment for reasons of sustainability, the architectural work in The New Asia Pacific House also addresses our need for psychological restoration and beauty away from the glare and noise of urban life. James Stockwell's unique curved corrugated-iron "hut" has a hermitage air: it hunkers into the Snowy Mountains unobtrusively, with the home's sublime relationship to its landscape only fully revealed from a warmly cocooned interior. WA architect Joe Chindarsi's work is also featured. His "Winter Cottage" in Bridgetown is a small, materially expressive home overlooking rolling farmlands. The house addresses principles of sustainability by passive solar design, photo-voltaic electricity production, water recycling, rainwater collection and low emissions glass. Even big name architecture practices showcased in The New Asia Pacific House, (WOHA, SCDA, Seksan) privilege "quiet" buildings that connect people, place and spirit together.

The New Asia Pacific House shows that the future of sustainable, responsible, beautiful and innovative domestic architecture in the 21st century may well led by architects working in our region.

The West Australian

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