Home Passive Solar Concepts Malcolm's Books Undergound America Day Malcolm's Earth Shelter Designs Order Books
and Services!
About Malcolm Wells Malcolm's Essays Book Reviews Discuss, Comment, & Debate Earth Shelter Resources Contact Us
on this page
  • InfraStructures
  • Gentle Architecture
  • Build a Better Birdhouse
  • Earth-Sheltered House
  • Sandtiquity
  • Baseball Talk
  • Recovering America
  • Passive Solar Energy

  • NEW!
    Writer Eve Kushner profiles Malcolm Wells in her book, Wild Buildings, Wild Lives: How Visionary Architects Think, Create and Live.

    Here are what people are saying about Malcolm Wells' Books.


    The environmental damage caused by the sheer physical impact of public construction—often called infrastructure —has been given little if any attention. That oversight has been corrected in this latest book by Malcolm Wells. I hope it will move our policymakers to build with more compassion for the plants and animals that share this time with us.
    —David Brower, Earth Steward

    "Infrastructure" is what the politicians dismiss as the "pothole problem." They do so at their own risk, for it may be their own constituents—voters—-who are the next to be needlessly, senselessly killed when an unsafe bridge crumbles during rush-hour traffic. The potholes have teeth.
    As always, trust Malcolm Wells to conceive unique, visionary, planet-loving solutions. With his plan for infrastructure, tomorrow's historic covered bridges may have flowers adorning their roofs, and the clover-leaf highways of the next century will be awash in real clover.
    Cynthia G. Wagner, Managing Editor, The Futurist

    Gentle Architecture

    Recently I played an architect in a movie called Indecent Proposal. Because I knew nothing about architecture, I read a number of books that I thought might be helpful. Without a doubt the most inspiring among them was a book called Gentle Architecture by Malcolm Wells.
    I had no idea how much architecture has contributed to the growing ecological problems in this world and was amazed at how simply these problems could be dealt with. Certainly in the architecture of the future we have no choice but to learn how to build in a way that doesn't compromise ecology.
    Mr. Wells is a visionary at a time when this world most needs visionaries. To those of you who are lucky enough to have picked up this book, I encourage you to share his vision and perhaps one day when this world is a little greener we'll be able to thank Malcolm Wells for his contribution.
    —Woody Harrelson, Actor

    Build a Better Birdhouse

    Build a Better BirdhouseThis is an exciting book for anyone who wants to build more than 'just a birdhouse' As an architect, Malcolm Wells is concerned with the way man-made structures interact with nature. His designs reflect that point of view, while managing to provide various birds with suitable accomodations...A unique and welcome combination.
    Wild Bird magazine

    Earth-Sheltered House: An Architect's Sketchbook

    The Earth-Sheltered HouseA classic, written by a legend. This book should be required reading for everyone making decisions about the built environment.
    —Steve Heckeroth, award-winning solar designer/builder

    Wells' designs seem almost fanciful, but are indeed based on practical considerations and currently usable techniques and materials, helping open up a whole new concept of building based on one of the oldest known: caves and burrows. These are "caves and burrows" of soaring imagination and creative, 21st century brilliance.
    —Mark A. Hetts, Amazon.com Review

    Alternative architect Malcolm Wells originally published this book in 1990 as Underground Buildings. The author acts as an apologist for using both earthen walls and passive solar design to create an integrated, efficient, and intuitive home in tune with what nature has to offer rather than in forceful opposition to natural laws and properties. The book stresses energy efficiency throughout the entire year and provides clear explanatory notes connecting the "how's" to the "why's."

    —Stephen Ford

    The Earth-Sheltered House: An Architect's Sketchbook makes a cogent case for exploiting the thermal properties of earthen walls in conjunction with passive solar energy to create a home that's warm in winter, cool in summer, designed intuitively rather than artificially, and is energy efficient year-round. We're betting The Earth-Sheltered House is one book that Wells' fans, old and new, won't be able to resist digging into.
    —Marguirite Lamb, Mother Earth News, Feb/Mar 1999


    SandtiquityArmed with this book you are not merely a beach day-tripper. You are at once a visionary and historian, an architectural genius, a builder of empires! Clear instruction and step-by-step photographs make it easy to achieve the same incredible results for a whole series of seemingly monumental structures. The many ideas and extraordinary work in Sandtiquity are bound to transform beaches everywhere!
    —Amazon.com Review

    Baseball Talk

    Baseball TalkMalcolm Wells has put together 190 pages of cartoons, that's right cartoons, which illustrate that what you hear, may not be the picture that comes to mind. The pictures are literal translations and they are funny. A good gift for the die-hard baseball or sports fan and a price that makes it affordable as well. Overall a easy, funny read.
    —Michael Woznicki, Amazon.com Top 10 Reviewer

    Recovering America

    Recovering AmericaIn Recovering America: A More Gentle Way to Build, Wells illustrates his case against environmentally unfriendly architecture—acres of parking lots, sterile housing tracts, and industrial parks devoid of greenery—with numerous aerial photographs taken on his helicopter rides across the United States. Wells, who is also an artist, offers in addition many full-color views of his "more gentle" alternative way of building. Many will be intrigued by his earth-friendly revisions of sports arenas, superhighway interchanges, malls, airports, and his version of a new Disneyland--with all of its roads, parking lots, and amusements covered by tons of earth, and just a few spires rising above a restored landscape of desert flowers.

    Colorfully illustrated and handwritten, this deeply personal
    volume offers nature-revering and soul-cheering solutions to
    overdevelopment. Describing what he has seen happening to
    America--the obliteration of the landscape by
    developers--architect Malcolm Wells envisions earth-covered
    living environments as an alternative to paving over nature to
    make it fit for human habitation.
    The Futurist magazine, Nov-Dec 2000

    Our favorite visionary eco-architect takes us on a tour of America's covered-over land, infrastructured seashores, and vast swaths of parking lots—"land contempt at its most flagrant." His imaginative renderings then re-cover it all with earth and greenery. Factories, strip malls, airports, prisons, the Pentagon, the Superdome, and Disneyland all fall to his impish drawing and painting skills at using nature to convert lifeless eyesores into living architecture. At a gently priced [seven] bucks, this has got to be the book bargain of the year.
    —Jeff Gates, coauthor of The Ownership Solution

    This delightful little book is a real bargain. Hand-lettered and illustrated by the author, it gives an unusual aerial portrait of our landscape. Photographs of vast expanses of asphalt are transformed through the author's watercolors into lush landscapes of greenery. This is not a how-to book, but a labor of love, conveying the author's unique vision of a greener America.
    Environmental Building News, Vol. 9 No. 3

    Not one to mince words, "Mac" Wells, an occasional illustrator for this paper, hopes readers will finally get his message, that designing with nature instead of paving it over with asphalt is healthier and much more beautiful. You can read his latest, Recovering America: A More Gentle Way to Build, in an hour. But you might want to linger over his photos and drawings of ingenious underground houses, which feature flowers and grasses on top of roofs and interiors that stay cool in summer, warm in winter. There's no type in this self-published book; Mac's legible and lovely printing easily pulls you through.
    —Betsy Marston, High Country News

    Passive Solar Energy
    Passive Solar Energy
    A classic treatment of the topic, enhanced by Wells' entertaining and clearly informative drawings.
    Rocky Mountain Institute

    Many thanks to the interesting and enlightening people
    and web sites that provided source material for malcolmwells.com.

    Please distribute the content contained in this web site.
    When you do, please give full credit to this web site address or to Malcolm Wells.

    Copyright © 2002 Wendy M. Mathias
    Almost all images, sketches, and "handwritten" text are copyright Malcolm Wells.
    Questions about this web site? Write the webmaster.