If you think architecture books are all about the technicalities, I’ve listed in this post some of my favorites discussing about architecture concepts, examples, and how to’s ranging from those you can use in architecture school to those already in the architecture business.
Listed in no particular order, here are some of the architecture books you can pick up anytime to learn about the knowledge that you can’t (and probably won’t) learn in architecture school.
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Table of Contents
- 1 | Architect + Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business
- 2 | Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell
- 3 | Forensic Architecture by Eyal Wiezman
- 4 | The Architecture Reference and Specification Book: Everything Architects need to know Every day by Julia McMorrough
- 5 | ArchiDoodle by Steve Bowkett
- 6 | The New Old House: Historic & Modern Architecture Combined by Marc Kristal
- 7 | Dictionary of Architecture and Construction by Cyril M. Harris
- 8 | A Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D.K. Ching
- 9 | The Architecture Of Light by Sage Russel
- 10 | 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick
1 | Architect + Entrepreneur: A Field Guide to Building, Branding, and Marketing Your Startup Design Business
Architecture as a field is a business. Now obviously not all architects own their own architecture firms but if you want to or plan to start one, this book is that “how-to guide” you’ll want to have. Not all architecture schools teach you how to have your own start-up. Reading this book helped me realize how much I didn’t know or how much I have to know and do when I start my own thing.
Thinking of getting a copy? You can purchase this first volume of Architect + Entrepreneur here! This list isn’t arranged in order but among the architecture books listed, this is my most favourite.
2 | Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell
This next book is definitely not just for architects. It talks about different design concepts with illustrations and with references from different disciplines. It includes 125 thought-provoking concepts that could help you broaden your knowledge and skills in design.
It contains concepts such as chunking, the 80/20 rule, self-similarity, and more. Definitely wouldn’t want to miss this especially if you’re a designer, architect, engineer, or student! Get your copy here.
3 | Forensic Architecture by Eyal Wiezman
Did you know that architecture can be used as an optical device in investigating environmental destruction and armed conflicts, and cross-referencing of different sources? I didn’t before I found this book!
This book contains different maps and images with detailed documentation of Eyal Weizman’s work. He provides the history, assumptions, practice, and potentials of the practice.
I really love it when architecture is mixed in other fields as I get to see it’s purpose beyond what people would normally think of and see. To study architecture is to truly be a jack-of-all-trades.
4 | The Architecture Reference and Specification Book: Everything Architects need to know Every day by Julia McMorrough
Want to have the most essential details with you wherever you go? This book might be it. This is an easy-to-use reference both students and practicing professionals can use. It contains information that will help you in planning different architectural projects of various shape and sizes.
What I like about this book is that it’s illustrations are easy to understand and look at. It’s not like the other drawings that could get overwhelming. It would have been truly helpful if I had this in architecture school.
5 | ArchiDoodle by Steve Bowkett
Now, everything I’ve listed so far is truly informational, however, this time let’s add something more fun in the mix. This book is, what the title actually says, a doodle book. I thought architecture books were all about the technical concepts and standards. This one was something else.
In this book, you can express your creativity by sketching and painting on the pages of the book. While doing so, you get to learn about the different architecture how-to’s such as the use of materials, how to furnish spaces, how to read plans, and even how to create cities that are sustainable.
It could be a fun and relaxing thing for you. Give it a try by getting it here!
6 | The New Old House: Historic & Modern Architecture Combined by Marc Kristal
If you haven’t read my blog about the 10 Design Philosophies you could use, then you don’t know how much I believe that architecture serves as documents of time.
This basically means that for me, it’s only wise to build in accordance to the era it’s being built in. I mean, we wouldn’t want future architecture students to study “old architecture” only to find out it’s faux.
When I saw this book, it completely resonated with me because of that philosophy. This book contains 18 private homes that are historic and have been revitalised and refreshed by clever architects for the new generation. Buy a copy here!
7 | Dictionary of Architecture and Construction by Cyril M. Harris
This next one’s a classic. As one of the most trusted resources, in this book you’ll find 25,000 definitions and 2,500 illustrations! Among the listed architecture books, this might be the most comprehensive for me.
This fourth edition has been updated with new industry terms covering engineering, building technology, legal developments, materials, organizations, and even historic architectural styles.
Need this comprehensive guide? Purchase it here!
8 | A Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D.K. Ching
Everybody has got to be familiar with this one. This too, is a dictionary with illustrations but which are finely detailed and hand-rendered. It contains concepts, technologies, materials, and details that are essential to architects and designers.
Francis D K Ching’s works are one of my most referenced when I was still in architecture school. The information and illustrations were really helpful even as a student.
9 | The Architecture Of Light by Sage Russel
I’ve always been fascinated with light architecture ever since I’ve found out about it in second year of architecture school. If you want to know the step-by-step in light design, this book is for you!
From conceptualizing, refining, drafting, and presenting, this book will teach you how to successfully present your lighting design. It’s useful for both students and professionals alike as it contains complete chapters of lighting details, case studies, and different lighting tools. This book is perfect for every design student, architect, and interior designers alike.
10 | 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Matthew Frederick
This is another popular book I commonly see for students. If you’re getting into architecture school and you think, “I know nothing about this and what am I getting myself into,” this is the book for you. It contains the basic lessons from “How to Draw a Line” to the more technical ones such as the lessons on different floor levels and proportions.
This book is written by an architect who, similar to the vision of this blog itself, wants to provide a guide for students from the lessons he learned in his days.
If you’re already a professional, getting back to the basics could truly help in solving complex problems. What are you waiting for? Get it here!