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No Nails, No Lumber
The Bubble Houses of Wallace Neff
Jeffrey Head

ISBN 9781616890247
Publication date 1/1/2012
7.25 x 7.875 inches (18.4 x 20.0 cm), Hardcover
176 pages, 100 color illustrations, 100 b/w illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 24; (769.0)

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Imagine a house constructed in less than forty-eight hours, without using lumber or nails, that is more resistant to fire, earthquakes, and hurricanes than any traditionally built structure. This may sound like the latest development in prefab housing or green architecture, but the design dates back to 1941 when architect Wallace Neff (1895--1982) developed Airform construction as a solution to the global housing crisis. Best known for his elegant Spanish Colonial revival estates in Southern California, Neff had a private passion for his dome-shaped "bubble houses" made of reinforced concrete cast in position over an inflatable balloon. No Nails, No Lumber shows the beauty and versatility of Neff 's design in new and vintage photography, previously unpublished illustrations, and archival material and ephemera.

Jeffrey Head is a Los Angeles'based writer on the topics of art, architecture and design. He writes for various publications including The Architect's Newspaper, Architectural Record, Metropolis, Modernism and The Los Angeles Times.


Editorial Reviews

The Los Angeles Times:
"Today, Neff's Airform architecture appears as both retro and futuristic - modern inspiration in the ongoing quest to develop efficient and affordable housing."

Modern magazine:
"Beyond his work for the glamorous set, Neff spent years hatching a scheme for low-cost, easily-built, and sturdy shelter for those of modest means.... engagingly explained in No Nails, No Lumber."

Flux magazine:
"That shape --- the rebellion against the cube... My heart also skips an extra beat when I see extraordinary people realising their vision, which is what Neff achieved with his blessed bubble house concept."

"Simultaneously earthy and futuristic."

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