Upon acquiring a book, one gets a quick first impression of it, and
then after careful reading followed by a period of time for digestion, a
different deeper one. Both have their place.
First, here are some quick impressions….
Attractive dust jacket in full color, showing two nomadic tents
superimposed on a background of a modern cable net structure ….
Jacket also describes the author as being an architect, a teacher of the
history of architecture at the University of Newcastle, Australia, and a
writer with two earlier books to his credit; including one on Frei Otto,
the well-known master of contemporary tensile structures.
Thumbing through the pages;bubble tent, tents, and more tents as found in
various parts of the nonindustrialized world. This covers about the
first half of the book.
Section on suspension bridges appears, which is part 2. Although
seemingly out of place in a book on architecture, it does make sense as
an introduction to modern long-span suspension roofs….
Part 3, modern tensile architecture. There it is, the works of
Nervi, Saarinen, Zetlin, Nowicki, Tange, and of course Otto; all nicely
Whole book in fact is nicely illustrated, though not in color….
At end of book, a total of forty-six pages devoted to supplementary
notes and references … quite a bit….
Something seems left out. Where are the pneumatic tensile structures?
A purer form of tensile structure does not exist than the inflated
membrane. Also, where are modern camping tents? With so
many pages devoted to primitive tents, would not a discussion of
high-tech tents be appropriate? Perhaps there was a publisher’s limit
on the length of the book.
All in all, seems like