- Modern Architecture Since 1900
- Graphic History of Architecture
- CategoryConcepts & Principles
- Architecture Form Space and Order
- Basic Visual Concept and Principles for Artists, Architects and Designers
- The Production of Space
- Body, Memory and Architecture
- CategoryArt & Artists
- Two Worlds of Andrew Wyeth
- The Great Age of British Watercolors
- CategoryArchitecture & Architects
- I disegni di Carlo Scrpa per Castelvecchio
- CategoryStructure & Engineering
- Simplified Design of Wood Structures
- The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice
- How To Start and Operate Your Own Design Firm
- CategoryGraphic Standards
- Architectural Graphic Standards
- CategoryCode Books
- 2016 California Residential Code
- CategoryTowards A New Architecture
- Towards A New Architecture
- CategoryThree Forms of Knowledge
- Vitruvius The Ten Books on Architecture
"Modern Architecture Since 1900" is an essential textbook in all architecture schools that focus on teaching modern design principles. I firmly believe that comprehending modern architecture is virtually impossible without delving into this book. It should be a mandatory read for every aspiring architect during their educational journey.
This particular book holds a special place in my heart. It provides a unique perspective on architectural history through visual representations, making it an excellent introductory resource for those interested in the evolution of architecture. Additionally, it effectively communicates fundamental architectural concepts and ideas.
CategoryConcepts & Principles
"Form, Space, and Order" is a book that I have a somewhat ambivalent relationship with. On one hand, it serves as a comprehensive resource that condenses many of the fundamental concepts and principles taught in the first year of architecture school into a single, visually engaging volume. This aspect of the book is undeniably valuable.
However, my reservations lie in the fact that some students tend to stop their exploration of architectural concepts and graphic techniques after reading this book. Frank Ching, the author, employs a drawing style that is rooted in tracing paper, which, while useful at an introductory level, is quite basic. I believe that students should progress beyond this foundational stage, learning more advanced drawing techniques and ultimately developing their unique personal styles instead of merely emulating Ching's.
This book played a significant role in my early education as an art student. It essentially covers the foundational knowledge that architecture, design, and industrial design students typically acquire during their first two years in art school. Its teachings are rooted in the Bauhaus tradition and were introduced to institutions like Harvard and MIT after World War II.
In this book, Henry Lefebvre argues a perspective that challenges conventional architectural thought. He contends that the built environment isn't solely shaped by architects; rather, it emerges from the complex interplay of social forces. Lefebvre asserts that architecture is fundamentally a social practice, shaped not only by architects but also by society at large. Architects play a crucial role in producing space, but they are not the sole agents. Their work is continually influenced and defined by various actors, including developers, bankers, planners, government bodies, and the users themselves. This perspective underscores the inherently political nature of architecture, a viewpoint often omitted in traditional architectural education, where autonomy is often emphasized, perpetuating the myth that architects can function independently of society.
As an architect, it's vital to recognize the political dimensions of your profession and the collaborative nature of your work.
This book emphasizes the significance of the human body in our perception of the built environment. It highlights how our tactile, visual, and auditory experiences shape our understanding of space. Memory plays a pivotal role in how we navigate and interact with architectural spaces. This book encourages a deeper exploration of how individuals experience and engage with their surroundings.
Ultimately, I encourage every architect to develop their own theories and perspectives on architecture. Your unique perspective and ideas will shape your practice and profession. Don't let others dictate what you should think or how you should approach architecture; instead, create your own theories and contribute to the ever-evolving field of architecture.
CategoryArt & Artists
"The Two Worlds of Andrew Wyeth: A Conversation with Andrew Wyeth" provides valuable insights into the world of art and its connection to architecture. When closely examining Andrew Wyeth's work, one can observe his unique approach to painting, combining realism with abstraction. His paintings often convey stories or imply narratives, leaving room for viewers to decipher their own interpretations. The objects and elements in his paintings symbolize human qualities, resembling a cast of characters that never overtly reveal their secrets. This approach inspires a desire for architecture to possess a tactile quality, to be real and tangible for the body.
"The Great Age of British Watercolors 1750-1880," which sheds light on the academy method of teaching architecture that preceded the Bauhaus approach. Studying British watercolors and their techniques offers valuable insights into the historical foundations of architectural education.
It's essential to find your own artistic influences and preferences because art is inherently subjective. As an architect, you should explore and discover what resonates with you personally.
CategoryArchitecture & Architects
Regarding architecture and architects, Carlos Scarpa is a favorite architect, and a book about his work serves as a source of inspiration. This book, although originally published in Italian, provides a glimpse into Scarpa's design process, emphasizing how his drawings were used to communicate with craftsmen and bring his visions to life. While finding architects you admire is crucial, the goal should be inspiration, not imitation. Every architect should seek their unique sources of inspiration to fuel their creativity and innovation in the field.
CategoryStructure & Engineering
"Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders" is a foundational resource in the field of structural engineering. Originally published in the 1940s, it has undergone revisions and reprints over the years, making it a timeless reference for architects and builders. This book serves as a great entry point for those in architecture and construction who may not have an extensive background in engineering.
This book is an indispensable resource for architects and builders looking to understand and apply engineering principles in their work, offering a practical approach that doesn't require an extensive background in higher mathematics.
"The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice" is undoubtedly the definitive guide to architectural practice in the United States. Its comprehensive coverage of the profession makes it an invaluable resource for anyone aspiring to become a professional architect. While the full version can be quite expensive, the student version still provides a substantial understanding of the architectural profession. This book becomes especially indispensable when you embark on starting your own architectural practice. It delves into the intricate aspects of business management and project management that are often not covered in architectural education.
"How to Start and Operate Your Own Design Firm: A Guide for Interior Designers and Architects" is another excellent resource, particularly for those looking to establish and manage their architectural practices. It offers practical and concise guidance on the various aspects of running an architectural firm, making it a valuable reference, especially during the initial years of practice.
"Architectural Graphic Standards" by Ramsay and Sleeper is an iconic and enduring resource in the field of architecture. It has been a standard reference for architectural practice for many decades, with various editions dating back to the 1930s. This book serves as an essential tool for architects, offering a vast collection of architectural details and standards.
One of the primary ways architects utilize this book is by referencing its architectural details and using them as a foundation for designing their own architectural details. It provides a solid starting point for creating precise and well-documented architectural drawings. In the early years of an architect's career, "Architectural Graphic Standards" can be an indispensable guide for developing details for architectural documents.
Code books are an integral part of an architect's professional life, and it's essential to be well-versed in building codes and regulations to ensure the safety and compliance of architectural projects. While studying codes may not be the most glamorous aspect of the profession, it's an essential responsibility.
There are indeed many resources available that can help architects understand and navigate building codes effectively. These books typically provide explanations, interpretations, and examples to assist in code compliance. It's wise to have a few of these books on hand to reference when needed, as codes can vary by location and project type.
CategoryTowards A New Architecture
"Towards a New Architecture" by Le Corbusier is undoubtedly one of the most influential books in the realm of modern architecture. It has left a lasting impact on how we conceive and approach the built environment. Le Corbusier's work articulated a vision of architecture that aimed to break free from the constraints of the past, envisioning a rational, industrialized, and functional urban landscape.
One of the fundamental ideas expressed in the book is the notion that cities should be conceived as machines for living, designed with a focus on functional requirements. This perspective dramatically transformed the role of architects, shifting them from culture and art creators to problem solvers guided by scientific principles.
CategoryThree Forms of Knowledge
In his writings on architecture, Vitruvius, the Roman architect, emphasized the importance of three fundamental elements: commodity, firmness, and delight. In modern terms, this translates to structure, utility, and art, which aligns with the Greek concept of three forms of knowledge: the true, the good, and the beautiful. Kant later categorized these as objective, social, and subjective knowledge, and Ken Wilbur referred to them as the "big three."