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125 Best Architecture Books

125 Best Architecture Books

Architecture has deep wells of research, thought, and theory that are unseen on the surface of a structure. For practitioners, citizens interested, and students alike, books on architecture offer invaluable context to the profession, be it practical, inspirational, academic, or otherwise. So, for those of you looking to expand your bookshelf (or confirm your own tastes), ArchDaily has gathered a broad list of architectural books that we consider of interest to those in the field.

In compiling this list, we sought out titles from different backgrounds with the aim of revealing divergent cultural contexts. From essays to monographs, urban theory to graphic novels, each of the following either engage directly with or flirt on the edges of architecture.

The books on this list were chosen by our editors, and are categorized loosely by type. Read on to see the books we consider valuable to anyone interested in architecture | Last updated in December 2019.

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A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction / Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein

Every design challenge represents a problem to be solved. In this book, Christopher Alexander proposes a cataloging of the types of problems (or design challenges) and analyzes what lies behind each situation, describing it in its essence and proposing a standard solution | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

The Architecture of the City / Aldo Rossi

The obligatory world-acclaimed book that proposes a critical reflection on the value of the collective memory in the architecture —of the city | Recommended by Fabian Dejtiar

Athmospheres / Peter Zumthor

Peter Zumthor shortly highlights the importance of the sensations in the construction of 'Athmospheres', to create a good place for the development of people | Recommended by Fabian Dejtiar

Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture / Robert Venturi

A "gentle manifesto for a non-straightforward architecture," Venturi’s Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture expresses in the most compelling and original terms the postmodern rebellion against the purism of modernism | Recommended by Diego Hernández

Conversations with Students (Architecture at Rice) / Louis Kahn

Inspiring text based on conversations led by Louis Kahn in different workshops | Recommended by Martita Vial

Experiencing Architecture / Eiler Rasmussen

A classic book with a very sensitive atmosphere about promising architecture and design | Recommended by Martita Vial

The Eyes of the Skin / Juhani Pallasmaa

This book a quick, delightful, and inspiring read - and entirely essential as we continue on the asymptote towards entirely digital practice in architecture. Pallasmaa encourages architects to see the world around them not just with sight but with touch, sound, even smell! | Recommended by Katherine Allen

The Image of the City / Kevin Lynch

In this 1960s classic, Kevin Lynch presents studies of how cities are perceived and imagined, and shows how his findings can impact the building and rebuilding of cities | Recommended by Becky Quintal

In Praise of Shadows / Junichiro Tanizaki

Explains the beauty of oriental architecture through their perception of light and shadows in their art and architectural traditions | Recommended by Martita Vial

Learning from Las Vegas / Denise Scott Brown, Robert Venturi, Steven Izenour

Seminal work for the history of architecture, the authors analyze the Las Vegas' strip to better comprehend the common and ordinary architecture, rather than the iconic buildings proclaimed by modernism | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

Mutations / Rem Koolhaas, Stefano Boeri, Sanford Kwinter, Nadia Tazi, Hans Ulrich Obrist

Mutations' reflects on the transformations that urban accelerating processes inflict on our environment, and on the spaces in which architecture can still operate | Recommended by Victor Delaqua

Neufert Architects' Data / Ernst Neufert, Peter Neufert

It presents appropriate standard measures and design tips. A very useful book for all architects | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

The Poetics of Space / Gaston Bachelard

Really beautifully written book on the poetics of space within the home. It explores the philosophy of space and how it relates to memories and dreams | Recommended by Yiling Shen

The Seven Lamps of Architecture / John Ruskin

"Know what you have to do and do it," said John Ruskin - words that neatly sum the contents of this book. Ruskin's writing describes lamps as characteristics that any piece of architecture must have in order to be considered this real architecture - in turn, the principles he deems necessary for architecture to be considered art | Recommended by Martita Vial

Superstudio: Life without objects / Peter Lang

This book exposes the work of one of the most famous architecture groups for the radicalization and criticism of utopias | Recommended by Monica Arellano

Ten Canonical Buildings: 1950-2000 / Peter Eisenman

Based on interesting diagrams and drawings, Peter Eisenman provides evidence of how some renowned architects of the 20th century changed our way of thinking | Recommended by Fabian Dejtiar

Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965 - 1995 / Kate Nesbitt (org)

A collection of the most important and seminal essays in the field of architecture published between 1965 and 1995 | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

Theory and Design in the First Machine Age / Reyner Banham

Banham's response to the second industrial revolution | Recommended by Diego Hernández

Universal Principles of Design / William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, Jill Butler

This book explains the disciplines of designing anything —from a house to a coffee cup | Recommended by Dima Stouhi

The Works: Anatomy of the City / Kate Ascher

After years in architecture school, you may understand how a building is put together - but how much do you actually understand the processes that make that building function in the first place? Kate Ascher reviews the systems that manage traffic, water, heat, electricity, and much more, tying architecture not just to an image of the urban environment, but to the actual workings of the city | Recommended by Collin Abdallah

Yona Friedman: The Dilution Of Architecture / Yona Friedman

Yona Friedman takes up the work of groups such as Archigram to propose cities that propose new ways of inhabiting cities | Recommended by Monica Arellano


Architecture: Form, Space and Order / Francis D. K. Ching

This book systematically and exhaustively analyzes the foundations of architectural form, space, and arrangement based on prototypes and historical examples from all periods, cultures and geographical areas | Recommended by Martita Vial

Architectural Acoustics / David Egan

For many architects, designing for the senses often means simply designing for sight and touch. This book gives a comprehensive overview of designing for sound, from detailed drawings to texts on the subject. The hope? That better acoustic environments will also mean better buildings | Recommended by Collin Abdallah

Detail in Contemporary Architecture Series / Virginia McLeod

As compelling as concepts are to discuss, they're rarely what makes the experience of a building special - that falls instead to a building's details. We notice how a wall touches the ground, how a railing curves underneath our hand - but how do you design these things? This book provides a vast variety of examples to help architects consider and design the details | Recommended by Collin Abdallah

Elemental: Incremental Housing and Participatory Design Manual / Alejandro Aravena

The field experiences developed by Elemental and Alejandro Aravena, winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize and Director of the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, are compiled in this book that not only tells the history of the team but also presents its financing strategies and the participatory methods used | Recommended by José Tomás Franco

Thermal Delight in Architecture / Lisa Heschong

In an increasingly air-conditioned environment, it can be easy to discount thermal comfort in the design of a building. But architecture (particularly vernacular design) has long been built on traditions surrounding thermal comfort, ranging from Roman baths to Islamic gardens to the porches of Southern US homes. As energy-efficiency increasingly becomes a part of the conversation, it's wise to learn from the past to design for the future | Recommended by Collin Abdallah

Architects, Firms, and Movements

Archigram / Peter Cook

More than a few revolutions took place in the 60s, but perhaps the most memorable one for architects is that of Archigram. The legendary British group created visions for cities that still feel fresh and fantastical today, and are carried on by designers such as Neil Denari, Lebbeus Woods, and Morphosis. This book is an excellent dive into their thinking in their own words, and includes a massive (though unfortunately black and white) selection of their famous collages. Those enamoured by the post-digital drawing craze will enjoy seeing where the current movement partly stems from | Recommended by Katherine Allen

Atlas of Novel Tectonics / Jesse Reiser

New York-based architects Reiser+Umemoto use short, informative chapters to explain their design process through a series topics that have driven their work | Recommended by Becky Quintal

BIG, HOT TO COLD: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation / Bjarke Ingels

This reading offers insight not only to one of the world's most creative practices, but into how to design for a changing climate - a message we'd all be wise to pay attention to | Recommended by Yiling Shen

Cities for People / Jan Gehl

Jan Gehl presents his latest work creating (or recreating) cityscapes on a human scale. He clearly explains the methods and tools he uses to reconfigure unworkable cityscapes into the landscapes he believes they should be: cities for people | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

Design Like You Give a Damn / Architecture for Humanity

Many of us enter the field with a core belief that we can leverage the profession to do good for others. But often, the places most in need of optimism are the ones least likely to get it. Design Like You Give a Damn is the resource for socially-conscious design, gathering together projects, history, and information about the movement - and what's possible with a little optimism | Recommended by Katherine Allen

Eladio Dieste: Innovation in Structural Art / Stanford Anderson

This book deals with the work of the Uruguayan engineer-architect Eladio Dieste, whose greatest production was developed in the capital of his native country and adjunctive cities in the second half of the twentieth century | Recommended by Matheus Pereira

Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability / Eyal Weizman

Forensic Architecture, a research group led by Eyal Weizman at Goldsmiths, leverages architecture as a framework to investigate a world in conflict, from armed violence to environmental destruction. This book details some of their work with activist groups, NGOs, and the UN | Recommended by Katherine Allen

Freeing Architecture / Junya Ishigami

Junya Ishigami is known for a singular portfolio, one in which structures blur into near invisibility, taking on the appearance of forests, strands of ribbon, and even the sky | Recommended by Shuang Han

The Future Of Architecture / Frank Lloyd Wright

This work by Frank Lloyd Wright brings together a large part of the writings and conferences that, over an intense decade of its prolonged existence, offered to the eagerness of qualified audiences, collaborators and students. Until its author reunited them under the generic title of "The Future of Architecture", the lessons of the great master exhausted the original editions. It was essential that these enlightening texts be brought to light for the new generations of architectural scholars | Recommended by Martita Vial della Maggiora

Isay Weinfeld: The Brazilian Architect / Gestalten

This book presents and discusses part of the works of Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld, from homes to hotels in Brazil and other regions of the world. The book also features previously unpublished photographs that visually describe their work | Recommended by Matheus Pereira

Kicked a Building Lately? / Ada Louise Huxtable

Ada Louise Huxtable reinvented the field of not just architectural criticism, but criticism itself, winning the first ever Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. In her canny eyes, the city was not something abstract or academic, but something that was living, tangible - kickable. Her legacy is one that lives on today in the (perhaps improbably) thriving field of architectural criticism | Recommended by Katherine Allen

Lina Bo Bardi / Zeuler R. M. de A. Lima

A comprehensive study of Bo Bardi’s career using an extensive archival work in Italy and Brazil | Recommended by Pedro Vada

MOS: Selected Works / Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample

MOS is an office known as much for their wit as they are for their architecture. Architecture, under their idiosyncratic gaze, is lively, ironic, and even a bit awkward. In short, it's as human as we are ourselves | Recommended by Kaley Overstreet

Oscar Niemeyer / Philip Jodizio

This book discusses the work of Brazilian modern architect Oscar Niemeyer with a focus on the works produced in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960 | Recommended by Matheus Pereira

Rafael Moneo: Remarks on 21 Works / Rafael Moneo

Twenty-one carefully selected projects are presented in detail, from the initial idea and through construction to the completed work and illustrated by Michael Moran | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

Slow Manifesto / Lebbeus Woods Blog

Lebbeus Woods, until his death in 2012, kept a blog that was part-journal, part-forum. This book compiles some of the 300+ posts in what is likely the most encompassing insight into his particular genius. Perhaps the only thing missing from the book is Wood's complex and unique illustrations. But never fear! They are all available on his still (thankfully) open blog. Read the two together for the fullest possible experience | Recommended by Katherine Allen

SMLXL / Rem Koolhaas

Poll any architect on the most essential books of the field, and this tome from Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau will undoutedly come up. The book weaves together OMA projects by scale, using drawings, collages, images, and texts to challenge conventional understand of architecture, scale, and the city | Recommended by Becky Quintal

Solano Benitez / Solano Benitez

This book presents some of the architect's projects, discussing the language adopted from the technical, structural, philosophical and social point of view | Recommended by Matheus Pereira

Thinking Architecture / Peter Zumthor

Admirers of the Swiss architect's sensitive approach to building and form should consider this text required reading for practice. Zumthor presents his philosophy through the lens of his own work and experience. Who better to learn from than the master? | Recommended by Katherine Allen

Thought by Hand / Flores & Prats

This book documents the work of the architecture studio Flores & Prats, approaching its way of doing architecture through an artisan design process with different types of handmade drawings and details | Recommended by Fabian Dejtiar

Uneasy Balance / Christopher Platt, Brian Carter

An intriguing look inside the design and construction of Steven Holl's Reid Building next to the famed Glasgow School of Art. The process is one of balance and reconciliation, illuminated through drawings, photographs, and interviews | Recommended by Niall Patrick Walsh

We'll Get There When We Cross That Bridge / Amale Andraos and Dan Wood

Set up as a conversation between WORKac co-founders Amale Andraos and Dan Wood, We'll Get there When We Cross that Bridge switches seamlessly between portfolio review and an impassioned discussion of issues relevant to the practice. It's an invaluable insight into how one of the most exciting contemporary firms works, thinks, and plans for the future | Recommended by Kaley Overstreet

Yes is More / Bjarke Ingels

If non-architects know any practicing architect today, it's probably Bjarke Ingels. This book is a big part of the reason why! Yes is More introduced the world to a new way of looking at and speaking about architecture - one that was lively, energetic, and open to all. Since its publication in 2009, we've all joined BIG's hedonistic revolution, and it's shaped architecture for the better | Recommended by Katherine Allen


The Australian Ugliness / Robin Boyd

A scathing literary satire by Australia's most influential architect on how ugly Australian suburbs are still relevant today | Recommended by Yiling Shen

Citizens of No Place: An Architectural Graphic Novel / Jimenez Lai

In this book, architect Jimenez Lai creates a collection of short stories on architecture and urbanism, represented through manga-style storyboards | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

Invisible Cities / Italo Calvino

In this book, somewhere between a novel and a set of essays, Marco Polo describes the cities he's visited to emperor Kublai Khan. Each city is lushly, if fragmentarily described. This is surely the way we should talk about our cities: as shimmering reflections and formless memories. Easily readable in parts, this book is the perfect detox for those needing an escape from all the unbearable talk about smart cities and circular economies - and a reminder why we fall in love with cities in the first place | Recommended by Katherine Allen

The Pillars of the Earth / Ken Follet

This novel describes the evolution of Gothic architecture as a response to its Romanesque precursor against the backdrop of (lightly fictionalized) medieval European life | Recommended by Martita Vial.


A World History of Architecture / Michael Fazio, Marian Moffett, Lawrence Wodehouse

A complete historic round-up of architecture styles | Recommended by Dima Stouhi

Architecture of the Islamic World: Its History and Social Meaning / Ernst J. Grube, James Dickie, Oleg Grabar, Eleanor Sims, Ronald Lewcock, Dalu Jones, Gut T. Petherbridge,, George Michell

This book explains the history, evolution, and ornaments of Islamic architecture | Recommended by Dima Stouhi

Barcelona Supermodelo / Alessandro Scarnato

Alessandro Scarnato explains how Barcelona, an infested city, became a global city after Spain recovered its democracy in the '70s | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

Clip, Stamp, Fold: The Radical Architecture of Little Magazines 196X to 197X / Beatriz Colomina

An explosion of little architectural magazines in the 1960s and 1970s instigated a radical transformation in architectural culture, as the magazines acted as a site of innovation and debate | Recommended by Victor Delaqua

Los Hechos de la Arquitectura / Alejandro Aravena, Fernando Perez

Alejandro Aravena joins Fernando Perez Oyarzún and José Quintanilla to discuss and analyze several architecture projects along with history, all accompanied with drawings, essays, and external references to make understand architecture from all its different angles and points of view | Recommended by Fernanda Castro

Modern Architecture / Alan Colquhoun

An extensive overview of the history, motivations, successes, and failures of the Modernist movement in architecture, offering invaluable and unparalleled context on an already widely published topic | Recommended by Shuang Han

Modern Architecture: A Critical History (Fourth Edition) / Kenneth Frampton

One of the most complete and relevant books on modern architecture, in the fourth edition Frampton added a major new section to his masterpiece that explores the effects of globalization on architecture all over the world | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

Palladio, The Villa and the Landscape / Gerrit Smienk, Johannes Niemeijer

This book documents and analyzes ten of Palladio's surviving villas in terms of their relationship with their natural surroundings | Recommended by Niall Patrick Walsh

Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-Century Architecture / Ulrich Conrads

The most influential architectural manifestos from 1903 to 1963, collected here in chronological order | Recommended by Becky Quintal

Project Japan: Metabolism Talks / Rem Koolhaas, Hans Ulrich Obrist

An editorial design accomplishment by itself, this book interweaves historical research with interviews with some of the most prominent architects from Japanese Metabolism movement | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

Reyner Banham and the Paradoxes of High Tech / Todd Gannon

Todd Gannon sheds light on one of architecture's most influential critics, giving readers context to the man and opinions behind the writings. From his tentative enthusiasm for Archigram to his views on the high-tech architecture of the 80s and 90s, his opinions need not be a mystery | Recommended by Kaley Overstreet

Teorías e historia de la ciudad contemporánea / Carlos García Vázquez

García Vásquez reveals how the contemporary city has evolved, according to psychologists, historians, and architects | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

The Prisons / Le Carceri / Giovanni Battista Piranesi

A compilation of Piranesi's etchings of prisons, Le Carceri represents not only a huge artistic accomplishment but also a milestone on architectural perception with its numerous vaults, staircases and other ambiguous structures | Recommended by Romullo Baratto


Architecture As Space / Bruno Zevi

This classic examines how architecture defines our understanding of space - and how buildings are sometimes indifferent participants in the urban environment. In Zevi's capable hands the components of architecture come alive, offering an illuminating and provocative perspective on the field of architecture | Recommended by Martita Vial.

Architecture Depends / Jeremy Till

The popular image of the architect is one of ego and power - but as any practicing architect will tell you, this is rarely (at best) the truth. Architecture depends on just about everything: the client, contractors, code, materials, zoning, budget…how much of a building is actually designed by the designer? This book investigates the gap between architecture's dependent nature and the aggressive perfectionism with which we pursue our work | Recommended by Katherine Allen

The Architecture of Image: Existential Space in Cinema / Juhani Pallasmaa

By analyzing the relation between cinema, art, and architecture through the lens of existential spaces, Pallasmaa dives into the work of Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Andrei Tarkovsky and how they used architectural imagery to create emotional states | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

Are We Human? Notes On Archeology Of Design / Beatriz Colomina

This book explores the bases of design from the very antique tools to the new digital era to propose new theories that allow us to rethink the way we design | Recommended by Monica Arellano

Arquitectura y política / Josep Maria Montaner, Zaida Muxí

The authors carry out a historical journey that narrates the social role of architects and planners until the current era of globalization | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

The Art-Architecture Complex / Hal Foster

The book is an inescapable reference for thinking about contemporary art and architecture | Recommended by Victor Delaqua

BLDGBLOG Book / Geoff Manaugh

From nomadic architecture to underground sewerage landscapes, this book examines the possibilities of architecture outside of how it is normally viewed and discussed | Recommended by Yiling Shen

Cities of Hope: Australian Architecture and Design by Edmond and Corrigan / Conrad Hamann

This is an iconic book analyzing the post-modern work of Edmond & Corrigan and how they reflect ideas about Australian suburbia and theatrics in their architecture | Recommended by Yiling Shen

The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change / David Harvey

David Harvey identify different contexts to create a great panorama of The condition of Postmodernity | Recommended by Pedro Vada

Constructing a New Agenda: Architectural Theory 1993-2009 / A. Krista Sykes

Critical architectural theory from the mid-1990s to now | Recommended by Pedro Vada

Content / Rem Koolhaas

In OMA/AMO's words, Content is a product of the moment. Inspired by ceaseless fluctuations of the early 21st Century, it bears the marks of globalism and the market, ideological siblings that, over the past twenty years, have undercut the stability of contemporary life | Recommended by Diego Hernández

Delirious New York: A retroactive manifesto for Manhattan / Rem Koolhaas

Basically, the work that made Rem Koolhaas famous. This book exposes the consistency and coherence of the seemingly unrelated episodes of Manhattan's urbanism focusing on its "culture of congestion." | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

The Destruction of Memory: Architecture at War / Robert Bevan

You're unlikely to find this book on any typical architecture reading lists, but that doesn't make it any less essential. Robert Bevan guides the reader through the architectural landscape in times of and after a conflict, giving words to what we know but don't often say: that the built environment has cultural and personal significance that stretches far beyond shelter. The leveling of buildings in war is less often the byproduct of hostilities than it is the hostilities themselves. The active and systematic erasure of an urban landscape is the strategic and leveling of identity, culture, and people | Recommended by Katherine Allen

Domesticity at War / Beatriz Colomina

Beatriz Colomina studies the phenomenon of postwar architecture as well as the factors that helped to build the idea of modern architecture based on the work of Charles and Ray Eames | Recommended by Monica Arellano

Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture / Rory Hyde

Seventeen conversations with practitioners from the fields of architecture, policy, activism, design, education, and research speculating on the future direction of the architectural profession | Recommended by Niall Patrick Walsh

The Good Life: A Guided Visit to the Houses of Modernity / Iñaki Ábalos

It is a critical tour about concepts for living in seven iconic twentieth-century homes | Recommended by Pedro Vada

The Language of Architecture / Andrea Simitch and Val Warke

This book provides students and professional architects with the basic elements of architectural design, divided into twenty-six easy-to-comprehend chapters | Recommended by Winnie Wu

Lo Ordinario / Enrique Walker

A selection of articles that address the notion of the ordinary in architecture over the last 40 years | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

The Manual of Section / Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, and David J. Lewis

The section is the greatest and most legible tool of architecture - who among us did not grow up entranced by the cut sections of buildings such as the Pantheon or Kowloon Walled City? This book is the grown-up answer to our childhood fascinations, offering detailed drawings of contemporary works. Essays offer invaluable insight into not just the buildings selected but to the idea of the section itself | Recommended by Kaley Overstreet

Oppositions Reader: Selected Essays 1973-1984 / Michael Hays

Oppositions Reader collects the most important essays from 26 issues of Oppositions, the journal of the New York-based Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS). An excellent selection of authors and prevailing subjects | Recommended by Antonia Piñeiro

Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy's Architecture and Biopolitics / Paul B. Preciado

This book studies how architectural production is popularized and inclined to design erotic spaces based on a specific context, demonstrating how different factors of the modern culture shaped the places we inhabit | Recommended by Monica Arellano

The Structure of the Ordinary: Form and Control in the Built Environment / N.J. Habraken

According to Habraken, architects consider the context to be the 'ordinary' into which they are challenged to produce the 'extraordinary.' But as vernacular architecture disappears, ordinary environments are more difficult to define. Without a clear counterpoint, how can architects situate concepts of innovation in architecture? | Recommended by José Tomás Franco

Theoretical Anxiety and Design Strategies in the Work of Eight Contemporary Architects / Rafael Moneo

Compilation of eight lectures from Rafael Moneo on eight of the most renowned architects from the last half-century, including James Stirling, Robert Venturi, Aldo Rossi, Peter Eisenman, Alvaro Siza, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaas | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

Toward an Other Globalization: From the Single Thought to Universal Conscience / Milton Santos

The great Brazilian geographer presents an alternative theory of globalization | Recommended by Pedro Vada

Tschumi on Architecture: Conversations with Enrique Walker / Enrique Walker

This volume presents, in a sequence of ten “conversations,” Bernard Tschumi's autobiography in architecture | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

Why Architecture Matters / Paul Goldberger

The most famous architectural critic offers an architectural dictionary to understand how we live spaces | Recommended by Monica Arellano

Cities & Urbanism

Building Brasilia / Marcel Gautherot and Kenneth Frampton

This book brings Gautherot's photos about the construction of the building of Brasilia with essays by Kenneth Frampton | Recommended by Pedro Vada

Cities for a Small Planet / Richard Rogers

Richard Rogers presents a program of action for the future of cities. It demonstrates the influence of architecture and urban planning on everyday lives, and warns of the impact modern cities can have on the environment | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

The City of Tomorrow: Sensors, Networks, Hackers, and the Future of Urban Life / Carlo Ratti, Matthew Claudel

MIT's Senseable City Lab remains at the cutting edge of urban design, placing designers in future scenarios to steer human progress | Recommended by Niall Patrick Walsh

Cities Without Ground / Adam Frampton, Jonathan D. Solomon, Clara Wong

An amazing illustrated vision in a crowded urban center and how its exploit its most limited resources —soil— at its best expression | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

Collage City / Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter

Grand urban visions may make for compelling theory and research, but how often do they succeed in practice? Collage city offers a more nuanced view on urbanism - one that is as patchworked and diverse as urban societies themselves | Recommended by Kaley Overstreet

Concise Townscape / Golden Cullen

This book pioneered the concept of townscape. 'Townscape' is the art of giving visual coherence and organization to the jumble of buildings, streets, and space that make up the urban environment | Recommended by Winnie Wu

The Death and Life of Great American Cities / Jane Jacobs

The New York Times describes this book as “perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning." An essential read for architects young and old | Recommended by Niall Patrick Walsh

The Granite Garden: Urban Nature And Human Design / Anne W. Spirn

The city is an extension of nature and the urban projects must be in tune with this same nature. The book is the result of extensive interdisciplinary research, as well as the author's extensive experience as a landscape architect | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

The History of the City / Leonardo Benevolo

Leonardo Benevolo describes the basic history of the man-made environment in Europe | Recommended by Pedro Vada

Ladders / Albert Pope

If you are interested in urban form issues, this analysis of different cities explains the characteristics of the open system and closed spaces | Recommended by Fabian Dejtiar

Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space / Jan Gehl

The book describes essential elements that contribute to people’s enjoyment of spaces in the public realm | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

The New Science of Cities / Michael Batty

The geographer Michael Batty presents the new vision about cities as systems of network and flows | Recommended by Pedro Vada

Triumph of the City / Edward Glaeser

Economist Edward Glaeser explains how and why cities shape the economy, including how the ways we develop and build we affect the future of cities' inhabitants | Recommended by Becky Quintal

The Urban Apparatus: Mediapolitics and the City / Reinhold Martin

In The Urban Apparatus, Reinhold Martin analyzes urbanization and the contemporary city in aesthetic, socio-economic and political-political terms | Recommended by Antonia Piñeiro

Walkscapes: walking as an aesthetic practice / Francesco Careri

A guide to study the city based on the theories of the situationists and the drift of Guy Débord that studies the simultaneous episodes that make up the urban | Recommended by Monica Arellano

Latest Additions

The Barefoot Architect / Johan van Lengen

The architect proposes explanations about climatic contexts, forms, and materials that enable energy, water and sanitation solutions that help in the work, through the use of alternative eco-technologies | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

Constructing Architecture / Andrea Deplazes

A book that features numerous solutions from Materials, Processes, Structures | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

Non Places / Marc Auge

Augé uses the concept of “supermodernity” to describe a situation of excessive information and excessive space. In this fascinating essay, he seeks to establish an intellectual armature for an anthropology of supermodernity | Recommended by Martita Vial

How to Study Public Life / Jan Gehl & Birgitte Svarre

Gehl and Svarre draw from their combined experience of over 50 years to provide a history of public-life study as well as methods and tools necessary to recapture city life as an important planning dimension | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

City on a Hill / Alex Krieger

In a time where the future looks darker than ever, Alex Krieger reminds us of how utopian dreams once galvanized American (city planning) history and shows that our current worries―rather than dreams―require new utopias to be imagined | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time / Jeff Speck

Making walkability happen is relatively easy and cheap; seeing exactly what needs to be done is the trick. In this essential new book, Speck reveals the invisible workings of the city, how simple decisions have cascading effects, and how we can all make the right choices for our communities | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

Catálogo Arquitectura Movimiento Moderno Perú / Alejandra Acevedo & Michelle Llona

A must-read comprehensive catalog to understand the legacy of the most relevant architecture movement from the XX century in Peru | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

Soft City: Building Density for Everyday Life / David Sim

Soft City is about ease and comfort, where density has a human dimension, adapting to our ever-changing needs, nurturing relationships, and accommodating the pleasures of everyday life | Recommended by Paula Pintos

The Future of Architecture Since 1889: A Worldwide History / Jean-Louis Cohen

Beginning with the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889, Cohen compiles developments that have shaped the world in which we live today. Through illustrations, drawings, and photographs, the book presents the evolution of the early twenty-first century's globalized architectural culture | Recommended by Romullo Baratto

Landscapes of Modern Architecture: Wright, Mies, Neutra, Aalto, Barragán / Marc Treib

An authoritative study of the interrelationship between modern architecture, landscape, and site strategy as viewed through the work of the five prominent architects | Recommended by Paula Pintos

Heroínas del espacio: mujeres arquitectos en el movimiento moderno / Carmen Espegel

A monograph compilation of forerunner women architects that should be recognized for their contribution to the modernism movement in the XX century | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

Living in the endless city / Ricky Burdett

The cities of Mumbai, Sao Paulo and Istanbul were added to the six cities of the first volume with the same mix of compelling photographs, in-depth and beautifully presented data, and smart writing by global thinkers. Each city is explored in a series of essays that address vital themes, from security to climate change, looking closely at the problems that face contemporary cities and examining a variety of solutions | Recommended by Christele Harrouk

Ciudad Fritanga / Ricardo Greene

An iconic compilation of explorative chronicles and photo essays about over the hill, middle-scale cities in Chile. How are they? What are their favorite foods? What are their people's expectations and frustrations? | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

The Hidden Dimension / Edward T. Hall

People like to keep certain distances between themselves and other people or things. And this invisible bubble of space that constitutes each person's "territory" is one of the key dimensions of modern society. Hall introduced the science of proxemics to demonstrate how human's use of space can affect personal and business relations, cross-cultural interactions, architecture, city planning, and urban renewal | Recommended by Christele Harrouk

Drone Unmanned / Ethel Baraona Pohl, Marina Otero, Malkit Shoshan

Edited by dpr-Barcelona's Ethel Baraona, Het Nieuwe Instituut's Marina Otero and FAST's Malkit Shoshan, Drone brings together researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds whose work seeks to understand and represent the nature and extent of drone operations | Recommended by Nicolas Valencia

The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects / Lewis Mumford

The city’s development from ancient times to the modern age. Winner of the National Book Award | Recommended by Christele Harrouk

City Sense and City Design: Writings and Projects of Kevin Lynch / Kevin Lynch

An invaluable sourcebook of design knowledge, City Sense and City Design completes the record of one of the foremost environmental design theorists of our time and leads to a deeper understanding of his distinctively humanistic philosophy | Recommended by Christele Harrouk

Urban Street Design Guide / National Association of City Transportation Officials

This book shows how streets of every size can be reimagined and reoriented to prioritize safe driving and transit, biking, walking, and public activity. Unlike older, more conservative engineering manuals, this design guide emphasizes the core principle that urban streets have a larger role to play in communities | Recommended by Eduardo Souza

Disclosure: ArchDaily earns a commission from Amazon on books and items purchased through their platform. Nevertheless, this does not influence our editorial decision.

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Cite: ArchDaily Team. "125 Best Architecture Books" 21 Apr 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/901525/116-best-architecture-books-for-architects-and-students> ISSN 0719-8884
© Leandro Fuenzalida | ArchDaily


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