May 29th 2011

Our favourite architecture books

Whether you love architecture yourself, or you’re looking to buy someone an awesome gift, we’ve rounded up our top books based on the art of architecture for that architect in your life.

Try saying that ten times fast.

Read on for our favourites.

Architecture: A World History

With gorgeous illustrations, this comprehensive, but condensed book is dedicated to significant architectural movements, exploring its evolution through biographies of great architects and analysis of their masterpieces. Organized chronologically, it covers prehistory to the present, highlighting noteworthy examples of important architectural styles, and showcasing works of significant architects. (Get it here)

Great Cathedrals

All wrapped into one impressive volume, the finest Gothic cathedrals of France, England, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Coming together in a gorgeous book, readers and academics will enjoy massive, detailed photographs of these landmarks, focusing on their beauty, innovation, and amazing formation. (Get it here)

Venice: an Architectural Guide

Venice is a mecca to beautiful architecture, and this brief, but detailed, book provides an accessible guide to the city. Written by architect and critic Richard Goy, it lays out the city’s piazzas, palazzos, basilicas, and other architectural points of interest, as well as  historical details regarding Venice’s environment. The book also sets out planned walking tours, maps, features, key terms, and other references materials… a must for travellers! (Get it here)

Five Hundred Buildings of London

The name says it all, laying out five hundred photographs showcasing the best architectural examples in London, England. Photographic tours like the pages of the volume, with rich, fine resolution duotone detail. Information including the building’s name, address and location, and year of completion or renovation is included underneath each image, along with a brief description. Gill Davies authors and edits, while London-based photographer John Reynolds brings it altogether. (Get it here)

Five Hundred Buildings of Paris

Like it’s London counterpart, this volume highlights the buildings of Paris in the same way. Kathy Borrus writes and edits this version, and Jorg Brockmann and James Driscoll provides the eye candy. (Get it here)

Five Hundred Buildings of New York

It wouldn’t be complete without bringing New York City into the mix, all written in the same layout. (Get it here)

Fifty Architects You Should Know

Broaden your knowledge by knowing more about your favourite architects. Starting with the Renaissance, this book outlines fifty visionary architects over the past six centuries. It contains double-page spreads with full-color illustrations, informative sidebars, and a timeline that extends throughout the book. (Get it here)

Young Architect Kit

Kids will have hours of fun with this kit designed by the folks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They’ll be able to create their own blueprints and building reusable 3D architectural models with this kit designed for ages 10 and over. The kit includes 9 room templates, 6 large pieces of tracing paper, 3 furniture guides, walls and blocks, peel-and-stick doors and windows, an acrylic work mat, and 4 colored pencils. (Get it here).

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School

From the simplest element of how to draw a line to the meaning of figure-ground theory, this book helps readers discover  how we perceive, experience, and interpret the spaces we inhabit. It is a great introduction to design terms, principles, and concepts. Author Matthew Frederick offers  architectural wisdom that every architecture student should read, in a book filled with theory and practice. (Get it here).

Architecture: Form, Space, and Order

Professor Ching delivers a classic introduction to the basic elements of architecture. The book holds many illustrations, as well as new updates in the third edition. It helps both students and practicing architects understand the basic vocabulary of architectural design by examining how form and space are ordered in the built environment. CD ROM included. (Get it here)

A Visual Dictionary of Architecture

This one-of-a-kind volume  uses a combination of textual definitions and hundreds of  line drawings to bring together a comprehensive body of essential terms in architecture. It is grouped by themes, such as history, systems, structures, forms, construction, environmental issues, and behavior. Professor Ching brings us another winner, with over 5,000 terms relating to architectural design, history, and technology. (Get it here).

Architectural Drawing Course: Tools and Techniques for 2D and 3D Representation

Students who have an interest in architectural design will solid foundational orientation and instruction. Author Mo Zell introduces architecture’s visual language, showing how to think spatially and get started in architectural drawing with a series of instructive tutorials. She guides  readers through the fundamentals of proportion and scale, space and volume, path and place, and materials and textures. With this book, learn how to see and sketch with accuracy, develop fundamental drawing and modelling skills, master subjective representation, learn the rules of perspective, and employ spatial strategies. (Get it here)

Think Like an Architect

Author Hal Box believes that everyone should be involved in making architecture. This book is organized as a series of letters to friends and students about the process of creating architecture. He describes what architecture should be and do; how to look at and appreciate good buildings; and how to understand the design process, work with an architect, or become an architect. He also provides an overview of the history of architecture, with lists of books to read and buildings to see. (Get it here).

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Andrew's Biography

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Andrew loves art and design, and pursues his studies in his final year at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He loves seeking out new artists and giving them their dues, and in his spare time, focuses on his own abstract sculpture.