For this year’s roundup of Holiday Gift Books I’m highlighting 36 books by the same number of publishers, arranged alphabetically by publisher – from Actar to Yale. Titles link to IndieBound and covers link to Amazon for easy gift-buying.
Álvaro Siza Viera: A Pool in the Sea
By Kenneth Frampton, Vincent Mentzel
A slim, 92-page book that sees Siza, with Kenneth Frampton, revisiting the great pool he designed more than 50 years ago in Leça de Palmeira, Portugal.
Mexico City Architecture Guide
By Miquel Adrià, Andrea Griborio, Alejandro Gálvez, Juan José Kochen
One of these days I’ll make it south of the border to see the great architecture in Mexico City. When I do, I’ll have this excellent guide to steer me around.
Herzog & de Meuron 1978-1996, Volume 1-3
By Gerhard Mack
A reprint of the first three “Complete Works” on the influential Swiss architects. Per the publisher’s website, the set is in German/English, not just German as in the links above.
Archigram – The Book
By Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, Ron Herron, David Greene, Michael Webb
I’m excited to get my hands on this large-format book that catalogs Archigram’s activities in the 1960s and 70s and includes 165 pages from the ten Archigram magazines.
Daniel Libeskind: Edge of Order
By Tim McKeough
An artistic, and visually dense and layered take on the architectural monograph, Edge of Center runs through Libeskind’s life and important projects. Told in first person through collaborator Tim McKeough.
Columbia Books on Architecture and the City
A House Is Not Just a House: Projects on Housing
By Tatiana Bilbao
This petit book transcribes a lecture given by Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao at Columbia GSAPP in October 2016. With a focus on housing, Bilbao makes many logical arguments for improving housing for all.
Neutelings Riedijk Architects: Ornament & Identity
By Neutelings Riedijk
Neutelings Riedijk’s buildings and projects are presented in twelve thematic chapters (seam, pattern, cutout, etc.) that focus on expression and identity in a globalized world.
Architecture Can!: HWKN Hollwich Kushner 2008-2018
By Matthias Hollwich, Marc Kushner
Closer in size and proportion to a guidebook than a traditional monograph, HWKN’s first monograph mixes their words and renderings with professional photos and images from social media.
Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism
By Mikael Colville-Andersen
I learned about Mikael Colville-Andersen many years ago through Flickr, where he has thousands of photos of people on bikes, both in his native Copenhagen and in many other cities and countries. This book collects his thoughts on bicycles and their place in cities.
Japanese Creativity: Contemplations on Japanese Architecture
By Yuichiro Edagawa
Architect Yuichiro Edagawa explores the roots of Japanese creativity in architecture, focusing on the role of details in whole buildings.
Lars Müller Publishers
The Architecture of Closed Worlds: Or, What Is the Power of Shit?
By Lydia Kallipoliti
Analyses of self-sustaining physical environments such as Biosphere and Masdar City accompanied by stunning “feedback drawings.”
The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century
By Mark Lamster
Easily one of the best books I read this year: my review.
Hassan Fathy: Earth & Utopia
By Salma Samar Damluji, Viola Bertini
Hassan Fathy’s Architecture for the Poor is a classic and a must for any architect (I’m grateful to have gotten my hands on a first edition at a used bookstore a few years ago). Earth & Utopia is a beautiful tribute to Fathy’s words and buildings, presented as a large-format book with plenty to absorb on every page.
The Global Spectacular: Contemporary Museum Architecture in China and the Arabian Peninsula
By Mark Swenarton
Documentation and comparisons of starchitect-designed museums in China and the Arabian peninsula as well as such nearby places as Azerbaijan and India.
The MIT Press
By Olivia Erlanger, Luis Ortega Govela
A “provocative history and deconstruction” of that appendage to the American house that’s supposed to shelter cars but is often used for other things; a collaborative creation by an artist (Erlanger) and an architect (Ortega Govela).
The Monacelli Press
Le Corbusier: The Built Work
By Richard Pare, Jean-Louis Cohen
A great combination: Around 60 buildings designed by Le Corbusier, photographs by Richard Pare, and words by Jean-Louis Cohen. It’s Pare’s photos that stand out, drawing attention to the varied states of Corbusier’s buildings.
The Museum of Modern Art
Oasis in the City: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at The Museum of Modern Art
Edited by Peter Reed, Romy Silver-Kohn
Philip Johnson’s great sculpture garden at MoMA turned 75 this year. This coffee table book celebrates the “oasis” in Midtown Manhattan, just as MoMA transforms itself through another architectural expansion.
Too Big: Rebuild by Design’s Transformative Response to Climate Change
By Henk Ovink, Jelte Boeijenga
Rebuild by Design is an innovative process for creating resilient cities and coastlines, born from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. This book documents the process and the various designs in the works around the USA.
New York Review Books
Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume III: From Antoni Gaudí to Maya Lin
By Martin Filler
The latest collection of architecture critic Martin Filler’s “reassessments” of significant modern architects — all originally published in NYRB — spans from Frederick Law Olmsted to Maya Lin, with roughly 20 more architects in between.
The Work of Machado & Silvetti
By Javier Cenicacelaya, Iñigo Saloña
I’ve been a fan of the built and unbuilt “unprecedented realism” (the name of their 1996 monograph) of Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti since at least the mid-1990s. This monograph collects projects designed by the duo over the last four decades.
House Tour: Views of the Unfurnished Interior
Edited by Adam Jasper
The official publication of the Swiss Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, winner of the Golden Lion for best National Participation. The labyrinth of empty apartments at various scales drew attention to the literal emptiness of photos of residential architecture in Switzerland.
By Phaidon Editors
Although Phaidon’s one-page-per (building, garden, etc.) format is a bit formulaic and inherently shallow, sometimes the subject makes one of these titles irresistible. For me, it’s architectural drawings by Zaha Hadid, Roberto Burle Marx, and many more.
Modern Spaces: A Subjective Atlas of 20th-Century Interiors
By Nicolas Grospierre
French-Polish photographer Nicolas Grospierre captures the interiors of buildings “both grand and mundane,” most I was completely unaware of. The photos are presented as pairs with similar spaces and characteristics but divergent uses and geographies.
Princeton Architectural Press
Studio Joy Works
By Rick Joy
The sequel to Rick Joy’s Desert Works presents 13 projects completed by the architect in the last 15 years, many outside his home state of Arizona. Beautiful photographs make this monograph, just like his first one, a must.
Steven Holl: Seven Houses
By Steven Holl
Sub-subtitled “Luminist Architecture,” this handsome, slipcased book documents seven Steven Holl houses completed over the last twenty years, some of them on the architect’s own property north of New York City.
Life Takes Place: Phenomenology, Lifeworlds, and Place Making
By David Seamon
An academic title on phenomenology that argues for the importance of place in our “mobile, hypermodern world.” David Seamon was a professor of mine in undergraduate architecture school at K-State, so I’m looking forward to diving into his latest book.
Scheidegger and Spiess
Peter Zumthor Talks About His Work: A Biographic Collage
By Christoph Schaub
One of two new titles on Swiss architect Peter Zumthor from Scheidegger and Spiess (here’s the other), this one offers copious insights into the contexts of his work and his self-conception as an artist.” (Note: This title is a DVD, not a book.)
Rem Koolhaas: Elements of Architecture
By Rem Koolhaas
Koolhaas updates his 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition as a 2,528-page behemoth designed by Irma Boom.
Thames & Hudson
Santiago Calatrava: Drawing, Building, Reflecting
By Santiago Calatrava with Cristina Carrillo de Albornoz
I’ve heard of exhibitions on the models that Santiago Calatrava has produced over the years, but lost in the shuffle are his sketches, collected and discussed here relative to his bridges, train stations, and other structures.
GGN: Landscapes 1999-2018
By Thaïsa Way
The first monograph of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, it contains such landscapes as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus in Seattle, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC, and the Lurie Garden at Chicago’s Millennium Park.
The Venice Variations: Tracing the Architectural Imagination
By Sophia Psarra
Sophia Psarra paints a portrait of Venice as a prototypical city aided by analyses of Italo Calvino’s classic Invisible Cities and Le Corbusier’s project for Venice Hospital.
University of Virginia Press
Shaping the Postwar Landscape: New Profiles from the Pioneers of American Landscape Design Project
Edited by Charles A. Birnbaum, Scott Craver
The fifth installment in TCLF’s “Pioneers of American Landscape Design” project chronicles the lives and work of important landscape designers in an encyclopedia format. Necessary for landscape designers and those interested in the preservation of modern landscapes.
UR (Urban Research)
Spaces of Disappearance: The Architecture of Extraordinary Rendition
By Jordan H. Carver
Jordan H. Carver, a contributing editor to the Avery Review, has investigated the architectural spaces of secret prisons and taken a look into the post-9/11 spaces via architectural drawings.
W. W. Norton
Historic Preservation, Third Edition: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice
By Norman Tyler, Ilene R. Tyler, Ted J. Ligibel
The third edition of Historic Preservation comes a couple years after the National Preservation Act of 1966 turned 50. One could argue preservation is even more important now, making this a much-needed introduction to the subject.
Yale University Press
City Unseen: New Visions of an Urban Planet
By Karen C. Seto
The authors of City Unseen reveal that the satellite views of Google Earth aren’t the only way to see the earth from above. They present traditional satellite views with non-visible wavelengths colored to convey more information about cities and landscapes.