Avery Library Highlight on New Books 2006

Avery Library Highlight on New Books

Rubble: Unearthing the History of Demolition


Rubble is the first-ever biography of the wrecking trade, a riveting, character-filled narrative of how the black art of demolition grew to become a multimillion-dollar business, an extreme spectator sport, and a touchstone for what we value, what we disdain, who we were, and what we wish to become.

From the straight boulevards that smashed their way through rambling old Paris to create the city we know today to the televised implosion of Las Vegas casinos to make room for America's ever grander desert of dreams, demolition has long played an ambiguous role in our lives. In lively, colorful prose, Rubble rides the wrecking ball through key episodes in the world of demolition. Stretching over more than five hundred years of razing and toppling, this story looks back  to London's Great Fire of 1666, where self-deputized wreckers artfully blew houses apart with barrels of gunpowder to halt the furious blaze, and spotlights the advent of dynamite - courtesy of demolition's patron saint, Alfred Nobel - that would later fuel epochal feats of unbuilding such as the implosion of the infamous Pruitt-Igoe housing complex in St. Louis. --from book jacket.

Byles, Jeff. Rubble: Unearthing the History of Demolition. New York: Harmony Books, 2005. Located in the stacks at AA3100 B99.

Get Off of My Cloud: Wolf D. Prix, Coop Himmelb(l)au: Texts, 1968-2005


The depiction of architecture through language: few contemporary architects have pursued this issue so pointedly and steadfastly as Wolf D. Prix of the Vienna studio Coop Himmelb(l)au. Texts play a prominent role in the award-winning architectural office's creative output.

Get Off of My Cloud gathers together the first representative selection of writings including programmatic contributions, aphorisms, interviews, polemics, speeches, and lectures. The texts, written between 1968 and 2005, open a multitude of insights into the theoretical and artistic content of the expansive work of Coop Himmelb(l)au. They likewise illuminate the work of other architects and pose provacative questions for architecture, art, and politics. --from book jacket.

Get Off of My Cloud: Wolf D. Prix, Coop Himmelb(l)au: Texts, 1968-2005, edited by Martina Kandeler-Fritsch & Thomas Krammer. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz, 2005. Located in the stacks at AA659 C78 G33.