The Adobe Tradition celebrates
the beauty, variety, and efficiency of traditional adobe architecture in
West Africa, Southwest Asia, and the American Southwest. In the severe
desert climates of these areas, centuries of working with mud. in the
construction of homes, mosques, and whole villages have given rise to a
remarkable range of styles and forms as visually stunning as any fabled
city of myth and imagination-or any postmodern metropolis.
By turns delicate and
massive, precise and free-form, indigenous adobe architecture displays a
formal richness matched by its technical ingenuity. In this abundantly
illustrated book, architectural historian Jean-Louis Bourgeois and
photographer Carollee Pelos act as guides to a little-known world,
interpreting spectacular structures from Mali, Mauritania, and Burkina
Faso to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and elsewhere. In these images,
white arabesques dance on red walls, and abacus-like mud colonnades
shield farmers from sun and wind; mud is "twisted" into
playful columns, sculpted into
ornate facade relief, and massed into
lofty towers of majestic mosques. . This edition's new afterword
discusses adobe politics in New Mexico, and illustrates the authors'
own adobe home.
Noted Af1-icanist Basil Davidson
contributes an introduction that surveys centuries of interplay between
Islam, older cultures, and the deserts of Africa. and Asia.
BOURGEOIS and CAROLLEE PELOS are a writer-photographer team.
Pelos's photographs of
adobe architecture toured for eight years as a Smithsonian Institution
traveling exhibition. Several have appeared in The New York Times,
Africa's Glorious Legacy (Time-Life), and Gardner's Art Through
the Ages. Near Taos, New Mexico, she designed and helped build the
couple's adobe home. Adorned with adobe high-reliefs-some
Africa-inspired, some whimsical-the house will be featured in House
architectural historian, leads tours to Mali. Included in Spectacular
Vernacular, his history of the Mosque of Djenne is on the reading
list of Columbia University's core curriculum on Africa. Bourgeois is
helping to organize a New Mexico adobe conference. Its goal is to
revitalize the local tradition of constructing low-cost, family-built,
Basil Davidson has
written numerous books on the culture and history of Africa, including Modern
Africa and Ghana: An African