The profession of architecture is not restricted to just 5 years of classroom teaching. There are several other ways to gain more information on architecture history, architecture styles or designs. The Internet is the most popular source for learning these days but I personally believe that there is no better source of knowledge than (good old) books.
As a university professor, I often get questions from my students asking, “Which is the best architecture book for beginners?” or “Which is the bestselling architecture book this year?” To answer these questions – In this article, I will flesh out my recommendations which will include the list of best architecture books for beginners in 2019.
IMPORTANCE OF BOOKS FOR ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS
Reading is a very important part of learning. If you wish to grow as a successful architect, you must be a good reader. By reading I’m trying to emphasize on reading books (not some random blog on the internet).
A book is the most authentic and genuine source of information available, where a professional or an educated scholar expresses all his hard work, learning and experiences. The content available in a book is cent percent true, leaving almost no margin for error.
The architectural books can be called ‘expression of an architect’s years of experience.’ These books usually consist of architectural, structural and conceptual drawings along with a text box explaining the details of the same. These books will –
- Improve your learning experience.
- Help you understand things in a better way.
- Expose you to a new set of knowledge and experience.
- Help you to grasp new ideas.
You must be judging me for my suggestion and opinions, But even wisest of Scholars used to (and still) emphasize the idea of reading books. Let me share some of the most popular quotes from popular and successful scholars about reading books –
“There is more treasure in a book than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney.
“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” —Rene Descartes.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” —Dr. Seuss
BEST ARCHITECTURE BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS
ARCHITECTURE: FORM, SPACE, AND ORDER – BY FRANCIS D.K. CHING
This book can be defined as the bible for every architecture student.For the past 4 decades, Architecture: Form, space and order has acted like the classic usher for guiding the young students through the basics and fundamentals of architecture. The latest publication (4th edition) is designed to promote critical thinking among students in order to improve their learning experience.
BUILDING CONSTRUCTION – McKAY
Building materials are one of the most important subjects studied by an architecture student. This book will give the student a thorough knowledge about the basic and advanced building materials and construction technology.
ARCHITECTURE: A WORLD HISTORY – DANIEL BORDON
This book by Bordon, Elzanowzki, Teurk, and Taylor is heavily loaded with illustrations and in a super condensed manner. It is a perfect reading choice for any architecture enthusiast. This book consists offers more than 600 different illustrations, page after page explaining the important architectural revolutions. All of it is systematically represented according to the timeline. The book also contains brief biographies of famous architects and critical analysis of their iconic work.
THE FUTURE OF ARCHITECTURE IN 100 BUILDINGS – TED BOOKS
Learning about the future of architecture is as important as learning about its history. This book simply highlights the idea of the future of architecture.
The author of this book talks about 100 different buildings that portrait the concept of future of construction. It also emphasizes the increasing demands of users and architects from future construction.
RENDERING WITH PEN AND INK – A.L. GUPTILL
Rendering and sketching are the most basic skills taught to every architecture student. An architect must know how to sketch well. This book is the ultimate guide to learn the basics of rendering and sketching with a pen.
It is full of simple lessons that teach how to create desired textures and effects. It also has several other chapters explaining the basics of sketching, light, and shadow etc.
HOW TO READ ARCHITECTURE BOOKS EFFECTIVELY
Till now you have learned the names of the best architectural books for beginners and the importance of reading books. In this section, we will talk about how to read these books effectively, in order to get the most out them.
STEP 1 – SELECTING A BOOK
You must identify your topic of interest. When you are sure about the topic, search for the books written about the same. Select the book with the most relevant content. You can always ask others for suggestions on good reads.
STEP 2 – TAKE AN OVERVIEW
Before you start reading, take a quick glance at all the headings and content. This will help you analyze and highlight the chapters most relevant to your areas of interest.
STEP 3 – READ CHAPTER-WISE
It is very important to read a book in chronological order. Do not start reading random pages of the books. Follow a systematic reading pattern to grasp maximum information.
STEP 4 – SEE IT ALL
Illustrations are the most important part of architectural books. You must carefully analyze all the picture, sketches and diagrams to understand the concept, design, and details. Carefully read the text relevant to the illustrations for better understanding.
STEP 5 – MAKING NOTES AND HIGHLIGHTING INFORMATION
Taking notes is the most important part of reading an academic book. You must take crisp and concise notes of the important or relevant topics or you can simply highlight it in the book using a highlighter.This will help you learn better.
Reading a book is no big deal. You just need to find a good book that talks as well as listen to you.
For more information on architectural books read our post on best books for architects