A summary of the best all round architecture books for 2019

Updated November 2019

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Even with the huge amount of architecture media available online, books still hold an unrivalled amount of information that websites and online journals just can’t provide. Architecture books in particular, that often host a whole variety of previously unpublished photographs and/or text are still very much just as popular as ever.

The beauty of having and building a book collection, is that you are able to form your own physical library of knowledge and data that can be taken and referenced at any time. …it can be stored, presented, transported …it yours, you own it ...it can’t be moved, edited or taken away.

In terms of literature genres, architecture books are a relatively niche subject, and for this reason certain editions are often printed with a limited number of copies available, that if popular, eventually go out of print, and become quite rare …so can prove to be a very good investment!.

Architecture will always be here, and so will be the need to learn and explore it…

So whether you prefer to visit an architecture bookstore or buy online, here we present a constantly evolving and updated list of the best architecture books from across all the genres… 

Best architecture books

Architecture that is meant to have a sensuous connection to life calls for thinking that goes far beyond form and construction. In his texts, Peter Zumthor articulates what motivates him to design his buildings, which appeal to the visitor's heart and mind in so many different ways and possess...

The Eyes of the Skin has become a classic of architectural theory. It asks the far-reaching question why, when there are five senses, has one single sense? sight? become so predominant in architectural culture and design?

Architecture drawing books

Architecture: Form, Space, & Order
By Francis D. K. Ching

Architecture: Form, Space, and Order, Fourth Edition is the classic introduction to the basic vocabulary of architectural design, updated with new information on emerging trends and recent developments. This bestselling visual reference helps both students and professionals understand...

Experiencing Architecture
By Steen Eiler Rasmussen

Profusely illustrated with fine instances of architectural experimentation through the centuries, Experiencing Architecture manages to convey the intellectual excitement of superb design. From teacups, riding boots, golf balls, and underwater sculpture to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion...

Atmospheres
By Peter Zumthor

What really constitutes an architectural atmosphere, Peter Zumthor says, is this singular density and mood, this feeling of presence, well-being, harmony, beauty ... under whose spell I experience what I otherwise would not experience in precisely this way. Zumthors passion...

In Praise of Shadows
By Junichiro Tanizaki

This is an enchanting essay on aesthetics by one of the greatest Japanese novelists. Tanizaki's eye ranges over architecture, jade, food, toilets, and combines an acute sense of the use of space in buildings, as well as perfect descriptions of lacquerware under candlelight and women...

The Architecture of Happiness
By Alain De Botton

The Architecture of Happiness, bestselling author Alain de Botton explores one of our most intense but often hidden love affairs: with our houses and their furnishings. He asks:

What makes a house truly beautiful? Why are many new houses so ugly?...

The Poetics of Space
By Gaston Bachelard

Beloved and contemplated by philosophers, architects, writers, and literary theorists alike, Bachelard's lyrical, landmark work examines the places in which we place our conscious and unconscious thoughts and guides us through a stream of cerebral meditations on poetry...

Architecture books for beginners

This is a book that students of architecture will want to keep in the studio and in their backpacks. These 101 concise lessons in design, drawing, the creative process, and presentation--from the basics of "How to Draw a Line" to the complexities of color theory--provide a much-needed...

Architects' Data
By Ernst Neufert

This guide is an essential reference for the initial design and planning of a building project. It provides a lot of the core information and data needed to form the framework for the more detailed design and planning of any building project.

Architecture graphic books

Universal Principles of Design is the first cross-disciplinary reference of design. Richly illustrated and easy to navigate, this book pairs clear explanations of the design concepts featured with visual examples of the concepts applied in practice

A fascinating guided tour of the ways things work in a modern city Have you ever wondered how the water in your faucet gets there? Where your garbage goes? What the pipes under city streets do? How bananas from Ecuador get to your local market?

The goal of this widely used book is to present in a highly illustrated format the principles of design for good hearing and freedom from noise in and around buildings. The more than 540 illustrations are not merely supplements to the text as with nearly all traditional books

As mentioned here this book is a comprehensive reference containing more than 700 scale drawings of every type of detailing used in residential architecture drawn from 100 of the best recent architect-designed houses from around the world.

Modern architecture books

Through scorching heat to unforgiving chills, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group presents a dazzling round-up of adaptive architecture in extreme environments around the world, providing an insight into how to design for a changing climate.

The Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld designs modern houses and hotels in style. From one side of the globe to the other, Isay Weinfeld is one of the most sought-after architects. This books explores her work and philosophies

Updated with expanded coverage of twenty-first century architecture, this new edition uniquely comprises a detailed survey of Western architecture as well as architecture from the Middle East, Africa, Central and South America, India, Russia, China and Japan.

The BLDGBLOG Book
By Geoff Manaugh

BLDGBLOG is the leading voice in speculation about architecture, landscape, and the built environment. This Book distills author Geoff Manaugh's unique vision, offering an enthusiastic, idea-filled guide to the future of architecture, with stunning images and exclusive new content.

This thorough documentation of the work of trailblazing Danish firm BIG invites audiences into their processes, methods, and results via the most approachable and populist means of communication available - the cartoon.

Manual of Section
By Paul Lewis, Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis

The section is one of the essential representational techniques of architectural design, until now, there has been no framework to describe or evaluate it. Manual of Section fills this void

With over 1700 illustrations, plans, and detail drawings, Constructing Architecture is a veritable encyclopedia for anyone interested in the essential technical information needed for building and construction, regardless of designstyle

An illustrated story of why our houses, great and humble and everything in between, look the way they do.

Architecture history books

Modern Architecture Since 1900
By William J.R. Curtis

This new account of international modernism explores the complex motivations behind this revolutionary movement and assesses its triumphs and ...

Architect + Entrepreneur is filled with contemporary, relevant, fresh tips and advice, from a seasoned professional architect building a new business.

In order to master the foundation of architecture, you must first master the basic building blocks of its language; the definitions, function, and usage. This book provides students and professional architects with the basic elements of architectural design

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