TOP 10 BOOKS THAT EVERY ARCHITECT SHOULD READ
So when I joined architecture millennial back, I was so excited and totally clueless about almost everything. EVERYTHING. And even when the courses kicked in, I still had so many questions like what do architects do? How to relate basic architecture concepts to the outer world? What master architects did or focused on?
If you even have had same questions, this post is going to summarize all the books you must read once, to see this world of architecture from a different perspective (or just to make others understand what we do, because some people just don’t fk*ng understand).
Our list of best architecture books
1. Architecture: A Visual History (Jonathan Glancey)
Jonathan Glancey is an architectural critic and writer; and who doesn’t want to know about the architectural marvels in our world from the perspective of a critic itself!! This book focuses on buildings specifically, giving a visual tour of more than 350 world’s greatest buildings of different architectural styles starting from the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt to Burj Khalifa in Dubai and beyond.
2. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order (Francis D.K. Ching)
One of the best selling architecture book. If you want to gain a basic understanding of design, this book should be your first, and of every architect or architecture student in the world. Ching starts with the most basic elements of geometry–points, lines, planes, volumes–and demonstrates how they can be combined and organized to create architectural forms. It has a lot of sketches that visually binds the reader to itself. It should be kept in mind that the goal of the book is to examine the underlying properties of architecture (geometry, proportion, arrangement) and not to introduce architecture history or movements.
3. The Architecture Reference & Specification Book: Everything Architects Need To Know Every Day (Julia McMorrough)
This book is an excellent attempt to formalize the most important and useful precious bits of information, hard-won from years of experience. It has everything, from the basics of architectural drawing and sketching to building codes. There is an entire section devoted to hand-drafting implements and methodologies. The book presents the “tip of the iceberg ” means essentials of topics that will require deeper study. In nutshell, it’s a handy little book to keep in a drawer at your desk.
4. 101 Things I Learned In Architecture School (Matthew Frederick)
The opening of this book eloquently states exactly how it feels to be in design school. it was directed toward the creative process for people actually designing work, and there was little for non-architects trying to learn about the field. It is a great introduction to design terms, principles, and concepts. It opens up a sense of appreciation for layout and design. The 101 things are each given a page and an accompanying illustration. The book is about the mental process of developing the design.
5. The New Old House: Historic & Modern Architecture Combined (Marc Kristal)
The New Old House presents 18 private historic homes, from North America to Europe, and traces the ingenious ways architects have refreshed them for a new generation. After reading the stories that accompany the photographs, you will feel that you have understood how architects see the world because Kristal captures the reader’s imagination with his virtuoso writing. These projects address such timely factors as sustainability, multiculturalism, preservation, and style, and demonstrate the unique beauty and elegance that comes from the interweaving of modernity and history.
6. Sir Banister Fletcher’s: History of Architecture (Fletcher)
This book has almost everything about the Architecture, so you can say it is an easy-to-use reference book with all the world’s major architecture described, explained and, in many cases, fully illustrated. The number of hands drawn illustrations in this book is mind-boggling. If you want to know anything about the architectural techniques that have ever existed in the history of whole mankind, this is the book you need to have.
7. Towards a New Architecture (Le Corbusier)
Now honestly, who wouldn’t want to read a book by the legend himself, who had a great vision about the future. It has lots of information on architecture and a specific way of looking into architecture plus humorous writing style of Corbusier made it more interesting. The present volume is a complete English translation of the 13th French edition of that historic manifesto, in which Le Corbusier explained his technical and aesthetic theories, views on the industry, economics, the relation of form to function and much more.
8. The Barefoot Architect: A Handbook for Green Building (Johan van Lengen )
Johan van Lengen is a former UN worker and prominent architect who has seen how desperately houses in impoverished tropical climates need a greener approach. Book has a Simple and basic approach, clear explanations with plenty of drawings plus separate sections for tropics as well as temperate regions, as the author emphasizes what is inexpensive and sustainable. It also explains everything about design, material, and implementation of techniques in such areas.
9. Zaha Hadid (Basic Art Series 2.0) (Philip Jodidio)
Zaha Hadid was a revolutionary architect and most of her futuristic designs were unbuildable. She is recognized as the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for architecture. She was an artist and an architect, whose style shifted from sharply angled buildings to later more fluid architecture that made floors, ceilings, walls, and furniture part of an overall design. This book mainly focuses on all that only, taking you to a whole different world because nobody broke rules of architecture as Zaha Hadid did.
10. Architecture and Design: Bamboo Construction & Design: Design Guide & 59 Case Study (Eduard Broto)
This book explores all aspects that architects working with bamboo will need to consider and It has some of the most beautiful, creative and cutting-edge bamboo projects done in recent years with their photos and plans. Light, stiff, strong and incredibly fast-growing, bamboo is a true super-plant, and in construction, it is becoming a super-material.
BONUS: Neufert’s Architects’ Data (Ernst Neufert)
It’s like a holy book for architects as this book’s data is an essential reference for the initial design and planning of a building project. it covers the full range of preliminary considerations and illustrations, which are dimensioned and each building type includes plans, sections, site layouts, and design details. So this book is a must to form the framework of any building project.
So this just a few from many great books which a person must read once and of course there are many which are missing the list, so go on and explore them too. There are a lot of reasons books becomes “must reads,” and it’s not necessarily just their literary quality.
Thanks for reading this post on 10 best architecture books.
Also see our recent post on 10 Indian place that every Architect must visit
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