NO NAILS, NO LUMBER is the true story of architect Wallace Neff and his Airform bubble homes which he promoted for nearly half a century starting in 1941.
Neff's bubble homes could be constructed in less than two days without a single nail or piece of framing. These buildings were completely impervious to fire, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Neff himself created the homes to relieve the global housing crisis and especially saw an opportunity when World War II ended and millions of GIs came home.
Made of nothing more than reinforced concrete sprayed over an inflatable balloon, these homes were cheap to build and fast to erect. As author Jeffrey Head notes, Neff and others built hundreds of them all over the world for use as homes and other uses including gas stations and grain storage.
I loved this book on every level. It's elaborate construction details on how these homes were erected will appeal to the building nerds among us. The photos of 1940s and 1950s houses and their interior designs are stunning. This book is part history lesson, part biography of Neff himself, and most of all, just a lot of fun to read. Neff was far ahead of his time and this book shows just how far.
This highly illustrated volume has a picture of a bubble house on almost every page, making this more a tiny coffee table book than something an owner should put on a shelf.
Sometimes authors read my book reviews and send me emails in thanks. I would like to thank Mr. Head in advance for writing this book. He should know that a copy of his book sits on my coffee table at home and virtually everyone who visits picks it up and asks about the bubble houses. I am writing this article because everyone who sees a bubble house seems to want one. Ask Madonna. She's owned one for years. Actress Diane Keaton also has a thing for original Neff bubble houses.
I honestly can't wait to see one of them! There are not many left in the United States. Below is one from Hobes Sound, Florida. Until I saw this awesome book by Jeffrey Head on a bookshelf, I never knew what a bubble house looked like or heard of Wallace Neff. Now I can't get enough of either.