Architecture and culture are more than the sum of their definitions. They are like the sides of the same coin and consist of a symbiotic relationship from time immemorial. The very essence of our built environments, our homes, and every other typology of architecture somehow derives through our cultural augmentations. When conceptualizing, architects and designers tend to elaborate on the expression of culture because it resonates with the identity of the user. In turn, this helps improvise the design in terms of functionality, framework, and its response to our surroundings. 

As architects, we recognize the correlation between architecture and culture, but we always need to assert the paradigm shifts in culture and architecture. For the same, here is a list of ten books that every architect should read which shall help them obtaining a new prospect:  

1. Culture and Architecture: An integrated history, by Leo Hansen.

Written by Leo Hansen, Culture and Architecture-An Integrated History explores the change in architectural history from several eras. Professor Leo Hansen is an associate academician at Florida Atlantic University School of Architecture in Boca Raton, Florida. He is also the author of Art and Architecture (2015) and received an award for Academic Merit in 2003. The author explains the integrated relationship between culture and architecture by keeping various great monuments of the world under a microscopic lens. The book is an essential read for all students and architects who are interested in art, anthropology, history, and foreign studies or anyone who appreciates the interdependency between architecture and culture. 

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2. The Cultural Role of Architecture: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives. 

The Cultural Role of Architecture: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives contains theories and concepts written by international academics in history, theory, and philosophy of architecture and edited by Jane Lomholt, John Shannon Hendrix, and Paul Emmons.

The book is segregated into three sections, wherein : 

– It explores the role of architecture in reviving culture followed from ancient times. 

– Analyzes the issues that arise with the needs and desires of contemporary culture blended with factors such as globalization, etc.

– Characterizes the deep-rooted structure of architecture entwined with the principles of culture and history and simultaneously identifying the paradigms that cultivate the same.

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3. Reading Architecture and Culture: Researching Buildings, Spaces, and Documents

Reading Architecture and Culture comprises essays that are combined to demonstrate methodologies ideal for research, design, and construction. The writers aimed to manifest Reading Buildings as “Cultural Artifacts.” The following would not only help designers, architects, critics, and students to explore a relationship between the user and their built environment but, the findings will help them gain a new perspective amidst the design process. The chapters consist of examples ranging from the 15th century to the 2000s, which can help the reader appreciate several aspects of the built forms (site context, cultural dependency, material selection, etc.) through the minds of the architects responsible.

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4. Cultural Influences on Architecture

The book discusses various aspects of culture which help evolve the architecture of places, whether it is in terms of the nature of spaces or traditional/modern construction techniques. The chapters encompass different pointers that explain how cultural intelligence, social learnings, human anthropometry, etc. These illustrations and paradigms of various buildings and cities help architects correlate historical attributes with the modern ones and engage the conclusions in their designs.

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5. Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality. 

Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality is a collection of essays, paradoxes, arguments, and phenomena that defines and explains the interdependency of the mentioned on each other. The contributors ask the readers’ questions, such as: 

– The reasons for degradation in our built environment, despite our contemporary approach. 

– How are the past practices relevant in the current context, and what steps can architects and designers take to integrate architecture, culture, and spirituality accordingly? 

The book also provides exemplars of how the built environment can retain its experience, significance, and meaning through the potency and integrity that our cultural practice possesses.

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6. The New-Old House – Historic & Modern Architecture

Marc Kristel, architecture and design author, and journalist weaves the renovations of 18 private homes in the volume. The 240 paged saga consists of refreshing ideals that the architects concoct in renovating these homes, which range from North America to Europe. The manuscript reveals that inculcating culture with a modernistic approach helps us address factors such as sustainability, preservation, and style.

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7. When Culture Meets Architecture, By Yin Qian. 

The book When Culture Meets Architecture combines various buildings around the world, which help imbibe a broader sense of the city on an individual’s mind. According to the author, buildings specifically designed for cultural events act as a stage for architects- a platform where the architects can represent their perception of architectural art and ambitions. The book carries the reader through a journey of various architectural wonders, which help them understand the inter-relation between culture and architecture.

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8. Culture, Architecture, and Design.

Culture, Architecture, and Design is a guide to understand the interconnection between Environmental Based Studies (EBS), user-oriented design, and design that is responsive to culture. The effect of various aspects such as bio-social, psychological, and cultural characteristics of human beings has been described, which in turn helps understand the relationship between culture, the built environment, and the architecture of space.

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9.Traditions In Architecture: Africa, America, Asia, and Oceania

The book assists professionals and students in understanding the various architectural achievements of diverse cultures throughout the world. Divided into five sections, each of the chapters deals with vernacular architecture and monumental designs of different places. The book investigates numerous architectural realms, such as planning, use of materials, climate, ecology, forms, and methods, which help the designer understand the influence of culture accordingly.


10. House, Form, and Culture, by Amos Rapoport

Amos Rapoport, in the volume House, Form, and Culture is a balanced view of cultural influences on architecture throughout the globe. The text contains underlying theories that correlate with our built environment, including diverse traditions, beliefs, customs, and socio-cultural forces at large.


Ansha Kohli is whimsical andenigmatic when it comes to her life. Wanting to pursue a career in architecture journalism after completing her graduation, she is on the road to seek something new and exciting, and subsequently enthusiastic to share as well as understand different philosophies associated with art and architecture.

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