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Building with books – The Best Architecture Books

Or at least building with assistance from a book. The Independent lists the 10 Best Architecture Books.

1. Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas
Koolhaas is known around the world for his pioneering designs, such as Beijing’s CCTV building, and this tome is one of the most insightful and intelligent books on cities.

2. Did Someone Say Participate? by Basar, Miessen
This anthology is essential reading for those caught up in architectural research and practice – or, indeed, anyone with a keen eye for current forms of cultural inquiry and debate.

3. Thinking Architecture by Peter Zumthor
The “architect’s architect” discusses his motivation for designing buildings in this cult classic – one of the most beautifully written and influential books on architecture.

4. Learning From Las Vegas by Venturi, Izenour et al
An insightful rake over the architecture of Las Vegas’s Strip, examining urban sprawl, advertising and commercial iconography in the city and in modern building design in general.

5. The Fall of Public Man by Richard Sennett
Focusing on human behaviour in the public realm, this is a classic text by an acclaimed anthropologist that has direct relevance to today’s theoretical debates about architecture.

6. Privacy and Publicity by Beatriz Colomina
In this vital addition to any aficionado’s library, Colomina argues that architecture is more than just “buildings” – it also exists through its representation in art, film or advertising.

7. A Critic Writes by Reyner Banham
The godfather of critics, Banham’s interests ranged from Pop Art to industrial design. This fascinating book discusses such architects as Frank Gehry and Norman Foster.

8. Ten Books on Architecture by Vitruvius
Dating from the 1st century BC, this treatise on the profession of architecture includes early Roman aesthetics, technology, Classical orders, site selection and much more.

9. The Destruction of Memory by Robert Bevan
In this timely study of the effects of war on architecture, Bevan pores over the relationship between design and planning and conflicts, including those in Iraq and Afghanistan.

10. Planet of Slums by Mike Davis
Less well-known than his treatise on LA, City of Quartz, here Davis tackles the compelling problem of the world’s slums, which are growing exponentially from Caracas to Lagos.

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