The ultimate archi-reading list
This is a definitive list of books that architects and architecture students should read during their lifetime. It is a curation between ourselves and our followers who have made some excellent suggestions.
All of the books can be purchased from our Amazon storefront using the link at the end of the article. Some of these books aren’t cheap so we would always suggest checking out your local library first, because why pay if you don’t have to! If you do decide to purchase the books for your own personal library, by using our link we will be able to make a small benefit from it and this will all be used in the day to day running of the blog.
1. 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School – Matthew Frederick
This book presents concise lessons in design, drawing, the creative process, and presentation, from the basics of "How to Draw a Line" to the complexities of color theory. This is a book that students of architecture will want to keep in the studio and in their backpacks. Each lesson utilizes a two-page format, with a brief explanation and an illustration that can range from diagrammatic to whimsical.
2. The Building Construction Handbook – Roy Chudley & Roger Greeno
The Building Construction Handbook is THE authoritative reference for all construction students and professionals. Its detailed drawings clearly illustrate the construction of building elements, and have been an invaluable guide for builders since 1988. The principles and processes of construction are explained with the concepts of design included where appropriate.
3. Architect and Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business: Volume 1 - ERIC w Reiholdt
Part narrative, part business book; Architect + Entrepreneur is filled with contemporary, relevant, fresh tips and advice, from a seasoned professional architect building a new business. The guide advocates novel strategies and tools that merge entrepreneurship with the practice of architecture and interior design.
4. Accidental Creative – Todd Henry
Many of us assume that our creative process is beyond our ability to influence, and pay attention to it only when it isn't working properly. For the most part, we go about our daily tasks and everything just works. Until it doesn't. Adding to this lack of understanding is the rapidly accelerating pace of work. Each day we are face escalating expectations and a continual squeeze to do more with less. We are asked to produce an ever-increasing amount of brilliance in an ever-shrinking amount of time. There is an unspoken (or spoken]) expectation that we'll be accessible 24/7, and as a result we frequently feel like we're always on. Now business creativity expert Todd Henry explains how to unleash your creative potential.
5. The Eyes of The Skin - Juhani Pallasmaa
“Architecture has the capacity to be inspiring, engaging and life–enhancing. But why is it that architectural schemes which look good on the drawing board or the computer screen can be so disappointing ‘in the flesh’?
The answer, argues Juhani Pallasmaa, lies in the dominance of the visual realm in today’s technological and consumer culture, which has pervaded architectural practice and education. Whilst our experience of the world is formulated by a combination of five senses, much architecture is produced under consideration of only one – sight. The suppression of the other sensory realms has led to an impoverishment of our environment, causing a feeling of detachment and alienation.”
6. Experiencing Architecture – Steen Eiler Rasmussen
Experiencing Architecture manages to convey the intellectual excitement of superb design. From teacups, riding boots, golf balls, and underwater sculpture to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion of the Peking Winter Palace, the author ranges over the less-familiar byways of designing excellence. At one time, writes Rasmussen, "the entire community tool part in forming the dwellings and implements they used. The individual was in fruitful contact with these things; the anonymous houses were built with a natural feeling for place, materials and use and the result was a remarkably suitable comeliness. Today, in our highly civilized society, the houses which ordinary people are doomed to live in and gaze upon are on the whole without quality. We cannot, however, go back to the old method of personally supervised handicrafts. We must strive to advance by arousing interest in and understanding of the work the architect does.
7. The Architecture Of Happiness – Alain de Botton
What makes a house truly beautiful? Why are many new houses so ugly? Why do we argue so bitterly about sofas and pictures - and can differences of taste ever be satisfactorily resolved?
To answer these questions and many more, de Botton looks at buildings across the world, from medieval wooden huts to modern skyscrapers; he examines sofas and cathedrals, tea sets and office complexes, and teases out a host of often surprising philosophical insights. The Architecture of Happiness will take you on a beguiling tour through the history and psychology of architecture and interior design, and will change the way you look at your home.
8. Thinking Architecture – Peter Zumthor
Architecture that is meant to have a sensuous connection to life calls for thinking that goes far beyond form and construction. In his texts, Peter Zumthor articulates what motivates him to design his buildings, which appeal to the visitor's heart and mind in so many different ways and possess a compelling and unmistakable presence and aura. The book has been expanded to include two new essays: Architecture and Landscape deals with the relationship between the structure and its surroundings, with the secret of the successful placement and topographical integration of architecture. In The Leis Houses, Peter Zumthor describes the genesis of two wooden houses in the town of Leis in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, thus thematizing the special challenge of integrating contemporary architecture into a traditional architectural context.
9. Architecture Depends – Jeremy Till
Architecture depends-on what? On people, time, politics, ethics, mess: the real world. Architecture, Jeremy Till argues with conviction in this engaging, sometimes pugnacious book, cannot help itself; it is dependent for its very existence on things outside itself. Despite the claims of autonomy, purity, and control that architects like to make about their practice, architecture is buffeted by uncertainty and contingency. Circumstances invariably intervene to upset the architect's best-laid plans-at every stage in the process, from design through construction to occupancy. Architects, however, tend to deny this, fearing contingency and preferring to pursue perfection. With Architecture Depends, architect and critic Jeremy Till offers a proposal for rescuing architects from themselves: a way to bridge the gap between what architecture actually is and what architects want it to be.
10. The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
Architect Howard Roark is as unyielding as the granite he blasts to build with. Defying the conventions of the world around him, he embraces a battle over two decades against a double-dealing crew of rivals who will stop at nothing to bring him down. These include, perhaps most troublesome of all, the ambitious Dominique Francon, who may just prove to be Roarke's equal. This epic story of money, power and a man's struggle to succeed on his own terms is a paean to individualism and humanity's creative potential.
This is just the first 10 on our list you can find another 15 of our suggestions on our Amazon shopfront which can be found in the link below!