Table of Contents
When you start as a student in architecture school, the entire field is unfolding right in front of your eyes. Overwhelming, as it can be, the vast history is also engrossing. Many architecture students start out being extremely intimated, either by professors or by the field itself but when you come across books that were written by Architects who had a similar experience, it is reassuring, to say the least.
I had a similar experience while in architecture school and discovered reading to be my niche. I have compiled a series of must-read books for Architects, conveniently categorized to help you with your woes.
Books To Help Survive Architecture School
Pattern Language – Christopher Alexander
Book on architecture, urban design, and community livability, Alexander’s book it’s still one of the best-selling books on Architecture. The book revolves around a timeless entity is called patterns and using them to make a whole new language. Fun fact, pattern recognition is the sole reason we humans evolved from our native apes into intelligent beings. It is currently being used by non-architects as well to help bring up their urban fabric. Sitting atop the book recommendation list, a must-read book for architects and others alike.
Another classic to read while in architecture school, Form, Space, and Function is an excellent visual communicator to the fundamental principles and vocabulary of architecture. The book talks about everything from circulation, site context to lighting and views considering the site environmental factors. Easily one of the must-read books in architecture.
A true lifesaver in architecture School, 101 Things I Learnt in Architecture School touches base with all the fundamentals of design, from how to draw a line to the more complicated ones, this book has it all. With beautiful illustrations and examples, the book does an excellent job of helping you navigate the design studio with finesse, easily one of the must-read books in Architecture.
Another classic in my shelf of books for architects, an architectural bible by D.K. Ching among his other creations, is the book Introduction to Architecture. Its easy-to-understand format helps readers gain a better idea of the design of spaces, buildings, and cities while exploring the histories and theories of architecture design elements, processes, Sitting, and the technical aspects of contemporary processes of architecture.
- The Poetics of Space- Gaston Bachelard
The French philosopher, Gaston Bachelard’s book, The Poetics of Space, is the most, as the title goes, poetic expression of a personal space such as a home. The book talks about our subconscious understanding of spaces when we enter them and the memories that are formed. Truly a must-read book for Architects and philosophers alike.
Books To Help Broaden Your Knowledge Reservoir
Akin to a superhero comic book, Yes is More by Bjarke Ingels, uses a comic book format to express his revolutionary ideas for contemporary architecture. The Danish architect aims to blur the line between avant-garde ideas and the boring boxes Architects usually dish out. Evidently sitting on top of this list of book recommendations, this one is a banger.
Consisting of remarkable inspired designs by the Dutch firm, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (O.M.A.) by its founder Rem Koolhaas and designer Bruce Mau, this book recommendation consists of photos, sketches, diary excerpts, fairy tales, and fables on contemporary architecture and society.
As a worshipper of old-world architecture, Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King has my heart forever. The must-read book revolves around the construction of the infamous masonry dome of Santa Maria Del Fiore in Florence. Deemed by many to be impossible, the renaissance genius, also a goldsmith and a clockmaker, proved them wrong. The book recalls the ancient time’s plagues, wars, and historical architecture.
In the book, the author Alain De Botton asks a sundry of questions- What makes a house truly beautiful? Why are many new houses so ugly? And many more. The author tries to answer these questions by studying buildings across the world at different times. Deemed by critics to be beautifully written and accessible, this is a good read.
Modern Architecture- Kenneth Frampton
A classic since 1980, this book on modern architecture is the fourth edition of Kenneth Frampton exploring the effects of globalization on architecture. The bibliography also examines the celebrity status of architects that is increasingly growing in the world today. A book recommendation to anybody with a keen eye for art and architecture.
Books To Leisure In
My eternal love for Dan Brown grew with the iconic, The Da Vinci Code. The book features a Harward symbologist, Robert Langdon, and his Journeys through life and death in an insanely adrenaline-pumped series of books that are now major motion pictures (Although it is my personal opinion that the movies didn’t do justice to the books). A must-read book is for anybody who loves heart-beating adventure with immensely descriptive old-world architecture.
Arundhati Roy’s debut novel, The God of Small Things highlights issues of the caste system, Keraliteheart-beating Syrian Christian lifestyle, and communism. The story revolves around two children, Esthappen and Rahel, who at a very young age learn the horrifying truth of life. Being an architect herself, Arundhati Roy’s education reflects in the book’s attention to detail and structure making this a book recommendation to be proud of.
This one hits too close to home. The comic illustration is about an architect Archibald and his daily struggles with colleagues, clients, contractors; basically, everybody that has anything to do with architecture. The hilarious accuracy seems to bring Architects from all around the world together.
The Grand Tour: Travelling the world with an Architect’s eye- Harry Seidler
The architect author has spent over 50 years traveling the globe and extensively photographing each piece of architecture from 3000 BC to the present day, emphasizing the importance of travel to Architects. The book is divided into chapters categorized into countries of all continents, making it a must-read book in architecture.
The book recommendation features 1000 of today’s contemporary buildings designed by the World’s finest Architects giving us an unparalleled and comprehensive resource to accentuate your travel experience.
Probably my favorite book of all, Architects Houses by Thames & Hudson Features 30 pioneering houses designed by archiSittingheart-beatingtects for themselves of the past decade and exploring the ingenious ways in which they have tried to address the challenges of modeling a contemporary living space with themselves at the center.