Whether you’re an architect, an urban planner, an architecture student, or just an architecture enthusiast, books are some of the best ways to expand your knowledge and understanding of the built environment and “learn from the greats.” Cityscapes give us a glimpse of metropolitan architecture but it's important to recognize where it all stems from. Architecture matters. That’s why we have compiled 25 of our favorite books for architects and architecture lovers.
Many of these books are popular pieces about architecture theory that seriously influenced the architectural profession—modern architecture and contemporary architecture are informed by these works. They represent the manifestos of specific architectural movements—think Venturi, Scott Brown, and Izenour’s Learning from Las Vegas and its relationship to the Postmodern movement. We also included great resource books that show how architectural drawings can truly be works of art. If you love flipping through beautifully detailed drawings, you’ll love Manual of Section or even A Visual Dictionary to Architecture.
Plus, if you’re looking for a gift for an architecture lover in your life, they might be missing an architectural classic that would complete their library. In this case, we think famous titles like the revolutionary Le Corbusier’s Towards a New Architecture or Rem Koolhaas’ Delirious New York are some great choices.
Keep scrolling to find 25 great books about architecture.
A Visual Dictionary of Architecture by Francis D. K. Ching
The Architecture of Community by Léon Krier
The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton
The Architecture of the City by Aldo Rossi
Black: Architecture in Monochrome by Stella Paul and Phaidon Press
Cities for People by Jan Gehl
Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture by Robert Venturi
The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan by Rem Koolhaas
Design Like You Give a Damn : Building Change from the Ground Up by Architecture for Humanity
The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses by Juhani Pallasmaa
Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen
The Four Books on Architecture by Andrea Palladio
The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings by Marc Kushner
In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanazaki
Jutaku: Japanese Houses by Naomi Pollock
Learning from Las Vegas by Robert Ventury, Denise Scott Brown, Steven Izenour
Lo—TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism by Julia Watson
Manual of Section by Marc Tsurumaki, David J. Lewis, Paul Lewis
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein
The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard
The Ten Books on Architecture by Vitruvius
Towards a New Architecture by
The Works: Anatomy of a City by Kate Ascher
Yes Is More: An Archicomic on Architectural Evolution by Bjarke Ingels Group