Top Ten Books on Architecture
On these recent days of the winter, we who dwell in the Northern Hemisphere can truly appreciate the value of the creature comforts that architecture provides. While we dream about summer and those long warm days outside, the truth is, we spend most of our lives in buildings; and it is architecture that can make this time and those experiences one of the most pleasant. One of those experiences is reading.
By now, the good dishes and decorations have been put away. You’ve returned to work and cleared your backlog of emails, and maybe cleared your desk. Resolutions are firmly in place … or maybe blissfully forgotten. You’re ready for the New Year. In the spirit of the gifts of the twelve days of Christmas, and the many top ten lists of 2013, I would like to invite you to revisit with me the “Top Ten” best books on architecture from my collection of over forty years on the subject. I will endeavor to deliver my commentary on one book each month (with two months open to selections from your suggestions) guaranteed to increase your appreciation for the architecture that surrounds you. So, as you contemplate these nights before the fireplace, the beach chair of the coming winter escape, those endless days at the cottage, and beyond, consider taking one of these books along. Pick and choose, and read ahead if you like. Here they are:
“Why Architecture Matters” – Paul Goldberger
How people relate to their built world.
(See completed opinion elsewhere on this blog site)
“Looking Around” – Witold Rybczynski
A broad architectural commentary on our built world.
“Architecture Anyone” – Ada Louise Huxtable
An architectural critique of famous architects, cities, buildings, and places.
“The Ten Books on Architecture” – Vitruvius
The original architect’s handbook covering every aspect of the classical architecture and building.
“Form and Function” – Horatio Greenough
Forerunner of Wright on the topics of an American architecture and beauty.
“On Architecture” – Frank Lloyd Wright (out of print-your challenge to find)
Collection of writings on the purpose and elements of architecture.
“Walden” – Henry David Thoreau
Critique of domestic architecture and options of the time.
“House” – Tracy Kidder
A detailed narrative about the relationship between an architect and his clients leading to a finished house.
“The Death and Life of Great American Cities” – Jane Jacobs
A fundamental dissertation on what makes a great city.
“Cradle to Cradle” – William McDonough & Michael Braungart
More about what a sustainable world (and architecture too) should be.
With one exception, all books are available from Amazon, or (support) your local bookstore.
Your suggestions for new books on the topic of architecture are welcome.
For more information or adding your comments, follow me on:
FB: David Lavender Architect
Website Blog: www.davidlavenderarchitect.com