Book explores concrete Airform-constructed homes

Source: Princeton Architectural Press, New York

Available on December 15, No Nails, No Lumber: The Bubble Houses of Wallace Neff examines the architect’s development of Airform construction as a solution to the global housing crisis in the 1940s. Better known for his elegant Spanish Colonial-revival estates in Southern California, Neff had a passion for his dome-shaped “bubble houses” made of reinforced concrete cast over a balloon.

The first Airform balloons were manufactured out of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s industrial-strength neoprene nylon. The balloons would be blown up and then sprayed with gunite to construct the building. Moreover, to increase appeal of his bubble homes, Neff designed several traditional exteriors such as brick and stone veneer over the cement finish, along with a modified roofline of asphalt and wood shingles.

No Nails, No Lumber displays the versatility and unique beauty of Neff’s design in new and vintage photography, previously unpublished illustrations, and archival material and ephemera. The 176-page book can be purchased through Princeton Architectural Press,