That Architects Must Read

Architectural drawings form a crucial part of the design process, from the conceptual stages to the completion of a project they act as a medium of communication. Sketches, diagrams, hand drawings are means for architects through which they can convey their thoughts, and ideas onto paper in a tangible way. Here is a list of ten books that architecture students, as well as professionals, can use as a reference to architectural representation.

1. Architecture : Form, Space and Order by Francis D.K. Ching 

Architecture: Form, Space and Order, considered by many to be the bible for young architecture students, this book stands the test of time and is referred by students and professionals alike to grasp the nuance of how even the most complex of designs can be broken down into simple line diagrams to understand the basic principles of architecture behind them. The book is filled with a vast range of sketches covering various scales, illustrated in a reader-friendly manner. The book simplifies and distills hardcore designs to bring focus on the concepts that lead to their manifestation. Capturing everything from the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt to the Shodhan House in India, the book is a visual treat and a breezy read for anybody who wants to learn about architecture and how it is best represented.

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2. Architectural Graphic Standards by the American Institute of Architects and Dennis J. Hall

This massive volume compiles details of almost all the elements that can be present in any building. With lessons from Greek proportion systems, barrier-free design to modern components of construction, it pans across the timelines of architectural history to form a comprehensive guide that can help students as well as professionals to learn the skill of representing their concepts such that all the aspects of their design stand out. With optimum measurements, planning standards, and meticulous construction details, this book helps in refining the skills of architectural representation.

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3. Rendering in Pen and Ink by Arthur L. Guptill , Edited by Susan E. Meyer

Rendering in pen and ink is a guide for anybody who wants to explore architectural drawing and representation with ink as a medium. It not only teaches the skill of rendering with ink but also delves into details of tools and material, how to create tones and shades, how to use shadows and outlines with varying line weights to enhance the quality of your drawing. With more than 300 illustrations, the book is packed with works of illustrators from the likes of Rockwell Kent, Charles Dana Gibson, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, and many more on a wide array of architectural subjects.

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4. The Elements of Style: An Encyclopedia of Domestic Architectural Detail by Stephen Calloway 

The Elements of Style is a comprehensive collection of architectural styles from 1485 to 1996, outlining the interiors of domestic architecture across America and Britain. With individual details, the volume is pretty thorough in its approach and is a visual survey of all the features of the various elements used throughout the ages. This book is not only a wonderful guide to help in representation and drawing but also a lesson in history as it covers architectural styles from Tudor to Post Modern, including the vernacular architecture of America and Britain. An illustrated essay accompanied by details of elements like doors, windows, staircases, walls, flooring, and fireplaces, etc, sets the tone of each chapter. An essential reference for architects and interior designers, this book has more than 3000 illustrations to help you grasp the technique of architectural representation. 

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5. Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge by  Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Louise Pelletier

This book focuses on the use of perspective to create a vision in architectural representations. The book isn’t entirely about techniques of representations but puts forward a thesis on how the tools of representation have a direct impact on the concept and design, and how some practices can be reductive. It is a compilation of drawings done over the years from the seventh century to the twentieth century, comparing drawings to the architectural spaces they were turned into. It’s a quest to lift architectural drawings from just construction details to art.

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Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge by Alberto Perez Gomez and Louise Pelletier_©https://www.amazon.in/Architectural-Representation-Perspective-Hinge-Press/dp/0262661136

6. Theories and Practices of Architectural Representation by Mike Christenson

A guide on the making of buildings, this volume is a study on how architectural representation has changed throughout the years. It dissects the need and shifts from traditional representation methods like drawing, sketching, and carving to the more modern-day use of technology for creating digital versions of drawings. It questions the way in which architecture has been consumed and sustained throughout the ages and how the evolution of technology has caused a shift and created newer opportunities for architects. With exemplary examples spanning five chapters, the book compiles architectural methods from worldwide locations including USA, Italy, and Japan. 

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7. From Models to Drawings by Jonathan Hale and Bradley Starkey

The book is an edited collection which talks about the importance of imagination in architectural representation. It questions the current need of relying on computer-aided drawings which just end up as mock-up models for construction on-site, and delves into the meaning and analysis of architectural drawings, models, and artifacts, and how it affects a design.  It has a wide range of investigations done to understand the evolution of representation techniques like diagramming, orthography, perspective, etc., over the course of time. The book also expands its scope to other visual art-related fields like films, literature, and performance to broaden the debate over the use and interpretation of representation techniques.

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From Models to Drawings by Jonathan Hale and Bradley Starkey_©https://www.routledge.com/From-Models-to-Drawings-Imagination-and-Representation-in-Architecture/Frascari-Hale-Starkey/p/book/9780415487986

8. Design Drawing by Francis D.K. Ching

Another one of the great books authored by D.K. Ching, Design Drawing details out the fundamentals of representation techniques. It breaks down complex drawing methods and items like shadows, voids, perspective, etc., and can come in handy to students as well as seasoned professionals who would like to brush up on some basics. It talks about the importance of hand drawings for designers, how they help in communicating an idea. It features over 1500 hand drawings and also tackles the transition from hand drawing to digital illustrations.

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9. Eleven Exercises in the art of architectural drawing by Marco Frascari

The book, as the name suggests offers eleven exercises that provide an in-depth process of construing drawings, it does not give the conventional time-saving tips generally present in a drawing book but deals with the crucial nature and critical role of architectural drawings in design development. It can be an indispensable reference text for students and professionals alike which helps them in honing the skills of architectural representation.

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10. Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling

Perspective is an important tool used in architectural representations and therefore it is essential to know the basic principles of perspective for generating good drawings and scenes. This book details out all the laws of perspective along with clear, concise, easy-to-understand discussions on the horizon, vanishing point, eye-level, etc., and also teaches about the placement of figures and objects in perspective. It is a learner’s guide that can help students in their early years to develop a knack for creating good perspective drawings.

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Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling_©https://www.amazon.in/Perspective-Made-Easy-Dover-Instruction/dp/0486404730
Author

Kriti Khandelwal is an inquisitive bibliophile who is currently a fourth year student pursuing her Bachelor's in Architecture from Nirma University, Ahmedabad.She has an ardent interest in art, exploring new places and is always in pursuit of stories of different people and cultures brewing around her.

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