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One of the most powerful design philosophies of recent years has been architect Glenn Murcutt's dictum that buildings should "touch the earth lightly." Ever since the Industrial Revolution, architects have sought to liberate our houses from their solid foundations, but now climate change, new materials and restricted land use have given fresh impetus to finding lightweight solutions for our dwellings.
The projects here combine two strands of thinking: that buildings can weigh less and have minimal impact on their environments, and that this lightness--visual, material, ecological--can create beautiful, ethereal houses that offer new, natural modes of habitation and greater communion with our surroundings. Each of the 40 houses selected by Phyllis Richardson--author of the widely successfulÂ XSÂ series andÂ Nano House--is presented through photographs, plans and lucid explanations. Residences that float on air or water, ingenious constructions using local materials, innovative structures, inflatable spaces, high-tech hyper-intelligent houses--"superlight" takes many forms. From the desert landscape of Arizona to the urban jungle of Tokyo, from rural China to mountainous Chile, this book brings new solutions for architects and designers everywhere.