Now that we are halfway through the year, what better time to prioritize your reading list? Whether you’re interested in the history of interior design, the relationship between architecture and health, or learning more about the 20th century’s forgotten architects, Metropolis editors have selected a variety of current and forthcoming titles that will be sure to get you through 2021.
Books: The Latest Architecture and News
Funded by Andrew W. Mellon and the National Endowment for the Humanities foundations as part of the Open Book Program, a collection of classic books, published between 1964 and 1998 are now available online as open access e-books through the MIT Press Open Architecture and Urban Studies book collection.
Sharing your shelf is, in a way, sharing yourself. Every element —from the titles you choose to the way you organize them— says something about your personality and your interests.
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.
This article was originally published on Metropolismag.com.
After the end of World War I, a spirit of optimism and a euphoric mood prevailed in Germany. Thanks to a new republican government and women’s suffrage, the war-torn nation was experiencing a radical new beginning.
As part of that convention-breaking wave, in 1919 German architect Walter Gropius assumed leadership of what would become the legendary Bauhaus. Initially, he declared that there would be “absolute equality” among male and female students.
Day-VII Architecture: How the Architecture of Polish Churches Developed in a Secular Socialist State
In the mid-to-late 20th century, a secular, socialist Poland served as the backdrop for the construction of thousands of Catholic churches. In their book Day-VII Architecture, Izabela Cichonska, Karolina Popera, and Kuba Snopek analyze the paradoxical facets of this architecture born at the intersection of secularity and religion, charting how its development was influenced by liturgical reform, political movements, and the growth of postmodernism. In the excerpted introduction below, the authors unfold this history, touching on the Second Vatican Council, Solidarity, the Iron Curtain, and more in relation to the development of Day-VII Architecture's ultimately unique postmodern style. The publication has collected photographs of 100 Polish churches built after the year 1945, accompanied by interviews with their architects. To read more about the authors' original Day-VII documentation project, which served as the groundwork for this book, be sure to visit the original article "These Churches Are the Unrecognized Architecture of Poland's Anti-Communist 'Solidarity' Movement."
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Why don’t architects often consider the ethics of what they do? Thomas Fisher’s new book, The Architecture of Ethics, digs into this topic in great depth and with engaging insight. At the recent AIA convention in Las Vegas, I sat down with Fisher—former dean of the University of Minnesota College of Design, and now a professor in urban design at the school, as well as director of the Minnesota Design Center—to talk about his book and the ethical dimension of designing and building in the context of contemporary practice.
Spacing Forth the Architecture Selfscape: A Phenomenological Reading of War Ruins in a Lebanese Urban Context
Book Review by Gioia C. Sawaya; Chemaly’s book offers a different attempt to reading war ruins in a Lebanese urban context. It suggests another perception of an architectural space, with the need for a built environment that encourages empathy with the user. He defines this space as a verb (an affording action) rather than a noun. The introduction of the book helps to locate the author’s main aim and frame his discourse.
There are few things in this world better than books on architecture, especially when they're available to download for free! Following on from our ever-popular post from 2014, we've gathered up ten more books that cover a broad range of interesting topics—including advice to architecture students from Herman Hertzberger, a look at what sparks the formation and growth of a city, and even a book that offers an in-depth architectural analysis of Alfred Hitchcock's films. Check out the list below!
The way we consume long-form content has transformed drastically in recent years. More and more parts of our everyday lives are now transitioning to new digital mediums to save us time.
If you are the type of person who enjoys plugging into a good hard rock or soft jazz playlist while hammering out those 10 sheets of section details, why not simultaneously gain some knowledge about self-motivation or the latest business tactics? These 6 audiobooks could be just what you need to hear to fuel your inner entrepreneur.
Metropolis Magazine has released a curated list of 19 new books to read this spring, with topics ranging from the evolution of social housing to Stanley Kubrick's unfilmed masterpiece to a fascinating tome on the architecture of Zionism. Not simply volumes detailing well-tread histories, these chosen titles explore every niche category through the lens of architecture. Ever wondered how Buckminster Fuller inspired six former gang members to construct his geodesic dome? Or what metro stations in North Korea look like?
The MIT Press, in collaboration with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is set to digitize landmark out-of-print architecture and urban studies books published by the MIT Press, making them freely accessible online for discovery and research. Aided by a $157,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, MIT Press are enabled to digitize a collection of “image-rich and intellectually prized architecture and urban studies titles” complete with the commissioning of new forewords for the works. Following the project’s completion, MIT Press intends to distribute a minimum of 25 titles for free on several platforms, including its own ebook service.
Among the titles to be released are Francoise Choay’s “The Rule and the Model: On the Theory of Architecture and Urbanism,” which links modern theory with classical and Renaissance architecture, and John Templer’s “The Staircase,” regarded as the first theoretical and historical analysis of the elemental stair. Books on the subject of famous architects will also be released, such as Donald Leslie Johnson’s “Frank Lloyd Wright vs. America: The 1930s” and Grant Hildebrand’s “On Leon Battista Alberti: His Literary and Aesthetic Theories.”
At first, books were kept in chests but as they became published in bulk they moved into the cupboard. The doors came off and the bookcase began to evolve. Today, bookcases can be integral architectural elements that shape space and, in some cases, even light. In celebration of International Day of the Book on April 23rd, ArchDaily compiled this round-up of architecturally, innovative bookcases.
Scroll down to see inventive architectural book storage from Alberto Kalach, ARCHSTUDIO, Toyo Ito, and more.
Everyone knows that becoming an architect translates to a lot of time in front of a computer screen, or on-site or in the model shop—or waiting for renders to finish. But we also know that being a good architect is about much more; truly savvy architects and really thoughtful projects often spring from strong theoretical, philosophical or practical trains of thought (and they are not always directly inspired by architecture itself!).
Ice Cream Books is a conceptual art project with a rather predictable, if not delightful, output: "great reads paired with frozen desserts." The work is beguilingly simple and stunningly direct – wafer cones act as columns and space frames, ziggurats and buttresses, all supporting popular tomes.
And so, for little other reason than pure gratification—and to ease you into your Monday morning—enjoy these books paired with (largely structurally sound) frozen desserts!
As urban areas develop, each city forms a unique structural logic. With this structure usually conceived on an ad-hoc basis, political terms such as “metropolitan area” and “neighborhood” are not always useful when analyzing and comparing the performance of cities. In a quest for new analytical tools, Robin Renner has devised an anatomically-based classification system in his new book Urban Being: Anatomy & Identity of the City. Through a thoughtful investigation of existing urban areas from around the globe using satellite images and personal experiences, Urban Being offers an insight into how transportation networks and streetscapes can be best organized to promote a healthy metropolitan environment.
Renner’s analysis ranges from macro-regions that can even cross country borders to the defined spaces between arterial roads in cities, which he calls "urban cells." As the neighborhoods and units in which inhabitants reside, urban cells are important when examining the identity and efficiency of a city. They are defined by both their physical properties and the actions that take place inside of them. Below is a small sample of how Renner analyzes urban cells from the book.
"Parthenon of Books" Constructed from 100,000 Banned Books Rises at Nazi Book Burning Site in Germany
Argentine artist Marta Minujín has created a full-scale replica of one of the world’s most famous structures, the Parthenon in Athens, constructed out of censored books as a symbol of resistance to political repression. Currently on display at the Documenta 14 art festival in Kassel, Germany, the 100,000 books that make up the monument have been sourced entirely from donations, allowing people from all over the world to contribute titles they feel a personal connection to.
Collaborating with students from Kassel University, Minujín selected more than 170 titles banned in various countries across the world. These books were then strapped to the steel structure with plastic sheeting, protecting them from the elements and allowing sunlight to filter through the building.