20 Educational Architecture Books Anyone Can Enjoy

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20 Educational Architecture Books Anyone Can Enjoy

| architecture, architecture critic | July 18, 2011

You don’t have to be an architectural expert to appreciate a building that has been impeccably designed and built. From the medieval cathedrals of Europe to the engineering feat that is Burj Khalifa in Dubai, there are architectural gems aplenty to ogle no matter where you are in the world. For those who want to learn more about these gems, whether you’re an architecture studentjust learning the ropes of your trade or simply a casual admirer of all things architecture, there are plenty of books out there perfect for introducing the practices and theories of architecture in a way that isn’t too technical for the layman to understand. Here, we’ve chosen 20 such books that will let you appreciate the ideas, artists and processes behind the great architectural work of the world, whether you know a little or a lot about architecture.

  1. A History of the Future by Donna Goodman: Architects have long been imagining what the buildings of the future will look like, sometimes with concepts that seem strange to us today. In this book, Goodman examines both its impact in the 20th century, as technology and design merge, and how the first Renaissance city planners imagined a better, more perfect city.
  2. 10 x 10 (Architecture) by Editors of Phaidon Press: Collecting 100 different architects, this book features some of the most iconic minds working in architecture today, with insightful essays accompanied by breathtaking photos.
  3. BLDGBLOG Book by Geoff Manaugh: This book companion to the popular blog will let you read essays on the future of architecture and the built environment, which even the casual reader can understand and enjoy.
  4. The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard: Have you ever really thought about how the space of your home, office and city impacts your life? This book will ask you to do just that, offering up a philosophical take on the humans’ relationship with the spaces we occupy.
  5. Vitruvius: The Ten Books Of Architecture by Vitruvius: There aren’t many works to survive from antiquity, and even fewer on architecture. In fact, there’s just this one, which may arguably be the most important works on architecture in the Western world. As such, it’s a must read from any armchair architect.

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About the author

Drawing upon original ideas and extensive personal and professional experience in the field, David McFadden crafted this article to explore the untapped potential of making historic architectural masterpieces more sustainable. After working at various design practices—both full-time and freelance—and launching his design firm, David identified a significant gap in the industry. In 1984, he founded Consulting For Architects Inc. Careers, an expansive hub designed to align architects with hiring firms for mutual benefit. This platform enables architects to find impactful design work and frees hiring firms from the time-consuming cycles of recruitment and layoffs. David’s innovative approach to employer-employee relations has brought much-needed flexibility and adaptation to the industry. As the Founder and CEO, David has successfully guided his clients and staff through the challenges of four recessions—the early ’80s, early ’90s, early 2000s, the Great Recession, the pandemic, and the current slowdown due to inflation and high-interest rates.

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