cover of book

Blue Architecture: Water, Design, and Environmental Futures
by Brook Muller
University of Texas Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-4773-2512-4 | Cloth: 978-1-4773-2510-0
Library of Congress Classification NA2542.8
Dewey Decimal Classification 720.47


2023 PROSE Award in Architecture and Urban Planning

A guide to water-focused and climate-resilient architectural and urban design.

Le Corbusier famously said, “A house is a machine for living in.” We now confront the litany of environmental challenges associated with the legacy of the architectural machine: a changing climate, massive species die-off, diminished air and water quality, and resource scarcities. Brook Muller offers an alternative: water-centric urban design that fosters sustainability, equity, and architectural creativity.

Inspired by the vernacular, such as the levadas of Madeira Island and both the arid and drenched places of the American West, Muller articulates a “hydro-logical” philosophy in which architects and planners begin by conceptualizing interactions between existing waterways and the spaces they intend to develop. From these interactions—and the new technologies and approaches enabling them—aesthetic, spatial, and experiential opportunities follow. Not content merely to work around sensitive ecology, Muller argues for genuinely climate-adapted urban landscapes in which buildings act as ecological infrastructure that actually improve watersheds while delivering functionality and beauty for diverse communities. Rich in images and practical examples, Blue Architecture will change the way we think about our designed world.

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