Top 10 Books on Architecture

 

“Architecture is the art of how to waste space” – Philip Johnson.

Architecture, coming from a Latin word ‘architecture’, meaning Chief builder, is the essence of all forms of buildings being formed since ages. It is the art and science of designing all sort of structures. It defines the process, style and design of all buildings and structures.

Architecture books are the base of all renowned architects and architects-in-making. Books on architecture provide the knowledge required to the architects for bringing in existence the marvellous designs. Architecture books teach about the requirement of firmness of the structure along with the mind-blowing beauty fulfilling the purpose of its making.

 

Architecture: Form, Space, and Order

Beautifully illustrated piece by Francis D. K. Ching, gives an awesome reference to the principals of architecture. The relationship between fundamental elements of architecture passed on through the ages and across the cultural boundaries are described by Ching. Expanded sections on circulation, light, views, and site context, along with new considerations of environmental factors, building codes, and contemporary examples of form, space, and order have been covered in an updated third version of the book. This reference book helps both the students and the practising architects to understand the basic concepts of architecture design. It is a classic introduction giving a base to the architects about the basic vocabulary of architectural design, promoting a better understanding of architecture.

Read it For:
It’s an excellent store of basic knowledge and helps the beginners to form a base. It is a book full of practical concepts, quotes and diagrams making a learner fall in love with the designing.
Don't Read it For:
It gives practical knowledge, but when it comes to making structures, it is not so useful.
What makes this book stand out?:
The Architecture: Form, space and order is a book with clear concepts and numerous examples with easy to understand language.

The Architecture Reference & Specification Book: Everything Architects Need to Know Every Day

The architecture reference and specification book contains overwhelming concepts to the architect with thousands of details which he needs to know. The data in this book is important for planning and proper execution of all sorts of projects.

Read it For:
The architecture reference and specification book is easy to carry anywhere book. It has all standard architectural most requested data.
Don't Read it For:
It is not the most technical book you could have. But, still, it is a concise version of everything you need to know about architecture every day.
What makes this book stand out?:
Its small size which gives hassle-free carry away of information to anywhere is the best part

Architecture: a world history

In chronological order, Architecture: A world history, takes you on a journey from the prehistoric era to present. It showcases the marvellous work of great architects like Mies van der Rohe, Frank Gehry, Philip Johnson, Frank Llyod Wright, Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas highlighting the important architectural style. It has 600 illustrations page after page focusing on the evolution of practice, biographies of great architects and examines their masterpieces.

Read it For:
The book shows famous buildings of all period. It takes you on a tour of the world’s monuments and buildings and architects too. The pictures are beautiful.
Don't Read it For:
The book is small in size, so the pictures are also small. And it needs a little more detailed explanation of the architecture.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is a pocket-sized book having stupendous information about architecture from around the world since ages.

50 60 70 / Architektur aus drei Jahrzehnten im Münchner Stadtbild (50 60 70 Architecture from three decades in Munich’s Cityscape)

Highlighting the Munich’s changing architecture from 1950 to 1979, the book aims at re-examining the post-war architecture. "A cityscape undergoing change is recorded as if by snapshot to render an epoch visible," said the Frankfurt Bookfair competition jury. "Excellent photographs and a duly discrete design round out the book to offer perfect, vibrant visual instruction in viewing an entire period."

Read it For:
The writer covers the changing urban landscape of Munich. Excellent book with vibrant pictures to have a deep glance at Munich’s Cityscapes.
Don't Read it For:
The only drawback is that the book is in German
What makes this book stand out?:
The book stands out because it amazingly illustrates the designs of the architecture giving a nice view of an entire period.
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What’s so great about the Eiffel Tower? 70 questions that will change the way you think about architecture

This architectural book is full of self-irony and debates illustrated with short stories. The 70 thought-provoking amusing debates critically examine the highpoints of the world-renowned architectures

Read it For:
It gives a fresh look to the various underappreciated and highly appreciated architectures of the world. You may not look at that architecture the same you used to look.
Don't Read it For:
The book is full of criticism, still, a good read giving a new perspective.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book targets the hard questions which no one generally dares to ask. It gives an insight into the architectures from a totally different angle.

The City between Freedom and Security. Contested Public Spaces in the 21st Century

The book explores the territory between the state and the corporate drive to secure the urban space. And to also secure the basic principle of the city as a civil society practising democracy and having the right to freedom and speech. The book acts as an opposing ground for architecture and urbanism and democracy and security. The book interposes essays, interviews, site drawings, a lexicon of terms, and photo-essays documenting fieldwork in the UK, USA, Israel, Palestine and Spain.

Read it For:
It is a high-level book enlightening the architects about the importance of security and freedom in architecture and design.
Don't Read it For:
No such reason.
What makes this book stand out?:
It is a marvellous piece of art raising questions about security and architecture and freedom.

Fifty English Steeples. The Finest Medieval Parish Church Towers and Spires in England

Fifty English Steeples showcases how the towers and Spires have evolved over the last 500 years in England. It covers the 50 most important medieval parish church towers and Spires. The book gives an insight of the technological and aesthetical evolution of the Steeples, and their medieval origin

Read it For:
The Fifty English Steeples takes you on a tour of the English town with high quality picturesque and 175 line drawings giving a great view to the reader.
Don't Read it For:
The book is enormously heavy, meant to be properly studied not to be played around.
What makes this book stand out?:
The main attraction of the book is the outstanding visual display of the pictures and the line drawings.

Hybrid Modernism. Movie Theatres in South India

“A book that is a pure joy to browse through as it almost dispenses with copy, confident of the visual appeal of the subject matter itself," said the jury of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2017. The South Indian architecture is a mixture of Western influence and local building style. The writer captures the cinema culture of South India in his photographs from the period of 2010-2013. He displays the amazing cinema culture which has already disappeared from Europe and USA, which has been increasingly being displayed in India.

Read it For:
The book gives the view of the period of 1950’s to 1970’s architectural language through the brightly coloured facades. This is a kind of hybrid modernism.
Don't Read it For:
Hybrid Modernism: Movie theatres in South India is a photographic study.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book is full of vibrant colours making it amazing eyesight for the reader.

African Modernism – Architecture of Independence

African Modernism is the first book presenting the great architecture. It gives the relationship between the awesome architectural projects and the making of the nation buildings in Ghana, Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, and Zambia. The book delivers 700 photographs beautifully captured by good photographers analyzing the interactions of architectural innovation and developing national political and social cultures.

Read it For:
The book gives an insight into the Central and Sub-Saharan African countries after the independence, which they demonstrated by creating distinctive architecture
Don't Read it For:
It’s a quite big book but is an awesome insight into African architecture.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book illustrates all the history, struggle and interesting moments of the independence transition of 5 African countries.

Housing Cairo: The Informal Response

The book focuses on unplanned urban growth, a global phenomenon. The book illuminates the informality and production mechanism. It features theoretical essays and architectural design proposals. 60% of Africa’s biggest cities population lives in informal housing. Informal housing is the five-to-ten-story concrete-and-brick-infill structures.

Read it For:
The book was awarded the Frankfurt Book Fair and DAM award in the year 2016. It is a great book to understand the informal housing in Africa
Don't Read it For:
The book should be a book about architecture, but it turns out to be a book about language.
What makes this book stand out?:
The book exactly defines and illustrates informality.

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