Architecture is inspired by thoughts and emotions and also requires research and theory that completes a structure. It is an ever-growing field with immense knowledge. To expand this knowledge, here is a list of 10 books on architecture that one can read in 2021. 

1. Our Hearts Are in France | Books on Architecture

Our Hearts Are in France book is an exceptional journey through this magnificent country, where centuries-old chateaux rise from riverbanks. Snow-capped peaks give way to rolling hillsides and fertile dales dotted with tiny villages, each one more appealing than the last. Nothing compares to France’s elegance and romance, from Normandy’s history-rich towns to the fragrant lavender fields of Provence to the dew-kissed vineyards of Burgundy and Aquitaine.  Page after page of beautiful interiors, Marie Antoinette’s idyllic retreat and a rustic farmhouse in Provence to the quaint portions of an American in Paris and ideas for building personal Gallic-inspired sanctuaries, abound in Our Hearts Are in France. Should one’s taste buds yearn for a taste of French cuisine, we have a set of delectable recipes that will satisfy both sweet and savoury cravings. A must-have for any Francophile is an equal parts travel guide, design compendium, and cookbook. Our Hearts Are in France pays tribute to and celebrates this enchanting country that holds such a special place in our hearts.

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2. Constructing Building Enclosures 

This volume aims to disrupt perceptions of how we interpret architectural history, construction history, building technology, and design. It is an essential read for educators, scholars, and students related to design,  construction history, building technology, and architecture. Constructing Building Enclosures delves into the contradictions that emerged between architecture and engineering as they grappled with technology and evolving building cultures to deliver structures in the modern age. Inventive architects, developers, and projects are at the heart of this history, refusing to accept traditional solutions, innovations, or processes. This collection, which includes thirteen original essays by interdisciplinary academics, takes a critical look at the creation and function of building technology within the context of architecture.  The contributions question notions of the boundaries between design, engineering, and construction in two parts.  The authors then look at twentieth-century construction projects, exploring the technical and aesthetic limits of postwar modernism and uncovering often-overlooked enclosure architecture lessons.  Minoru Yamasaki’s Science Center, Louis Kahn’s Weiss House, Sigurd Lewerentz’s Chapel of Hope, and others are among them.

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3. Composite Architecture: Building and Design with Carbon Fiber and FRPs | Books on Architecture

The first book on composite materials in architecture, Composite Architecture, is the first of its kind. Buildings made of carbon fiber and other FRPs can be lighter, heavier, more robust, and have better thermal efficiency. Their characteristics also open up new formal and structural possibilities. With a foreword by Jan Knippers and extensive analyses of projects using composite materials by architects such as Snhetta, Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. The technology underpinning composite materials, their history, sustainability concerns, and specific opportunities and challenges in building and construction are covered in this book.

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Composite Architecture: Building and Design with Carbon Fiber and FRPs ©

4. The New Farm: Contemporary Rural Architecture 

Farming has been reinvented by recent generations of farmers, who have embraced sustainable practices and sustainability and bold new modern architecture use.  The New Farm features sixteen new farms worldwide, complete with floor plans and vibrant images that highlight the links between family, food, architecture, terrain, and heritage.  In Kentucky, see a bamboo-wrapped farm shed and a Tasmanian sheep shearers’ quarters with a dramatic coastal view.  Learn from a fourth-generation poultry breeder and outsiders who have made the transition from the business world to the barnyard. Organic farms in Canada and Europe are among the projects, including an olive oil grove and mill in California, the storied Stone Barns Center in New York, and an olive oil grove and mill in California. According to the introduction, the architects who designed these farms include William Wurster, William Turnbull, Edward Larrabee Barnes, Marc Appleton, and Tom Kundig.

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5. What Can a Body Do?: How We Meet the Built World | Books on Architecture

A fascinating and insightful new way of thinking about the objects we use and the places we occupy, as well as a call to envision a future that is better built for all of us. Nearly all human beings create and use is an assistive technology designed to bridge the gap between body and environment. This book includes furniture, tools, kitchens, campuses, and city streets. We can never pause to consider—or reconsider—the hidden assumptions around which our daily environment is constructed unless, or until, a misfit in our own body and the world is severe enough to be understood as impairment. Sara Hendren encourages us to reconsider the objects and settings we deal with through a collection of vibrant stories from the lived experience of disability and the concepts and inventions that have arisen from it—from cyborg weapons to adjustable cardboard chairs to deaf architecture. What would help look like if it was founded on the body’s incredible potential for adaptation rather than a static emphasis on “normalcy”? Will we encourage living that is interdependent rather than independent? How do we design public spaces in a way that allows us all to manage our shared terrain? What Can a Body Do? transforms familiar objects and situations into something strange and wonderful. It aids us in imagining a future that is better for us. What Can a Body Do? transforms familiar objects and situations into something strange and wonderful. It enables us to envision a future that better meets the vast array of our mutual needs and desires.

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6. Landscapes of Preindustrial Urbanism

The rapid reshaping and ecological transformation of the regions where cities grow have become mainstream issues as the world’s population continues to urbanize. Even the term “urban landscape” has progressed from a modernist fallacy to a commonsense classification.  What exactly does it cover, in any case?  When did the phenomenon it refers to first appear, and how did it change over time and space?  Could study the dynamics of urban landscapes in the past aid in revealing their current existence and predicting future developments? Answers to such issues are difficult to come by.  Although the industrial pasts and post-industrial transformations of cities and their landscapes seem to be well-documented, preindustrial conditions are only now beginning to be documented. Over the last three decades, enormous developments and renewal in technology, research techniques, and conceptual structures have benefited these fields of study. In conclusion, a wealth of knowledge is uncovered, and landscapes are shown to be the stuff of preindustrial urbanism. In reality, a paradigm shift is underway, according to which landscapes and urbanism developed in a reciprocal relationship during preindustrial times. Landscapes of Preindustrial Urbanism aims to bring such a paradigm change to landscape scholars and designers while also providing urban historians and planners with new perspectives.

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7. The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design

99 percent Invisible is a big-ideas podcast about apparently insignificant objects, presenting stories embedded in the dwellings we live in, the streets we drive along, and the sidewalks we walk along. The book celebrates design and architecture in all of its practical beauty and unintentional irony, telling fascinating stories about both designers and the people who are influenced by their work. Roman Mars and co-author Kurt Kohlstedt explores the roots and other exciting stories behind everything from fire escapes and power grids to drinking fountains and street signs in this book. The 99 percent Invisible City will captivate devoted fans of the show and anyone curious about architecture, urban landscapes, and the unsung wonders of the world around them, with thoroughly researched entries and stunning line drawings throughout.

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8. Neri Oxman: Material Ecology | Books on Architecture

Neri Oxman’s practice’s interdisciplinary nature is highlighted in this book, designed by Irma Boom and published to accompany a mid-career retrospective of Oxman’s work. It shows how Oxman’s contributions allow us to rethink and redefine modernism and organic design concepts, both of which are in constant flux. Some of the projects featured in the book and exhibition include the Silk Pavilion, which harnesses the ability of silkworms to generate 3-D coconut from single-threaded silk in order to create architectural constructions; Aguahoja, a water-based manufacturing platform that prints structures made from different biopolymers; and Glass, additive manufacturing technology for 3-D optical printing.

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9. Atlas of Brutalist Architecture

This book in architecture style Brutalism is the only book to document Brutalist architecture’s finest examples in the world thoroughly. More than 850 buildings-existing and razed, contemporary and classic-are geographically organized into nine different continental regions. Presented in an oversized arrangement with an especially bound case with three-dimensional finishes, 1000 beautiful duotone photographs bring to life the graphic strength, emotional power, and compelling architectural presence of Brutalism. From masterpieces of the 20th century to contemporary architects, much-loved masterpieces in the United Kingdom and the United States stand alongside lesser-known examples in Europe, Asia, Australia, and beyond – 102 countries in all. Twentieth-century masters included in the book: Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Carlo Scarpa, Ernö Goldfinger,  Louis Kahn, Lina Bo Bardi, Oscar Niemeyer, and Paul Rudolph. Contemporary architects include  Alvaro Siza,  David Chipperfield, Renzo Piano, Diller and Scofidio, Peter Zumthor, Herzog & de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, SANAA, OMA, Coop Himmelb(l)au, Tadao Ando, and Zaha Hadid.

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10. Traditional Built Environment of Saudi Arabia: Al-Ula Unearthed | Books on Architecture

Rich in nature, history, and traditional architecture, Al-‘Ula is a small township northwest of Saudi Arabia. The stunning views of the rock formations, dunes, and palm oases around al-‘Ula have been an essential part of its history and the built surroundings. Along with Mada’in Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site near Al-‘Ula has the ruins of ancient empires such as Lihyan, Dedan, Nabatean, and Ma’in, as well as remains to date back to the early Islamic era and modern history. Although these ruins are sufficient to indicate the historical, geographical, and biological importance of Al-‘Ula, the town’s organic urban fabric, which is exhibited in narrow zigzag alleys, adds more fascination and mystery to its cultural background. Although Al-‘Ula was deserted more than 40 years ago by its inhabitants, its street network, gates and buildings are still intact.

Strolling through dark zigzag alleys and half-stone mud buildings is a unique experience that exists only in al-‘Ula. This book explores the history, nature, and architecture of al-‘Ula and will be of interest to people in architecture, anthropology, urban history, sociology, and S&D.



Tamrin Afroz is an architecture student who loves traveling, painting, journaling, and experimenting with new ideas. She aspires to uphold local culture, tradition, and craftsmanship within the community, to conserve tangible and intangible heritage. Apart from architecture, she is an activist working on social issues and promoting girls' leadership roles.